Champions – Vortex

It was the dream again. Terrible creatures were pouring into his neighborhood – into his HOUSE! – and no matter where he tried to hide, or how hard he fought, he was being driven back, against the wall. Trapped, as the jaws (and stranger organs) came closer and closer! Where were his allies? He had to get away! He couldn’t let them get him! He tried desperately to push them away, to retreat further – and suddenly there was an electric tingling, a sudden surge, and a terrible noise, and he was falling backwards into the nothingness!

—————————————————————————–

Young Andres Carrillo dazedly opened his eyes to darkness and confusion – until his Father flung open his door and hit the lights. Most of his bed and mattress was just GONE – there was nothing left but sheared-off bits of the corners – and he was lying, most uncomfortably, on top of the shoes that had been underneath it.

The noise had been real enough – but it would be quite a while before the Carrillo’s figured out what had happened to their young sons bed.

—————————————————————————–

A few years later Andres had become used to his slowly-growing power – and his parents had learned to listen for the muffled “pops” of broccoli disappearing into the void, the faint sizzle of a disintegrating touch inscribing stuff on solid objects, and the howl of wind carrying leaves, snow, or trash into oblivion.

Fortunately money meant that their home could be well-isolated and that they could use private – well-paid and tight-lipped – tutors until Andre was old enough to reliably keep his abilities secret.

There were a few close calls, but the fact that his protective field – merely a more limited version of his disintegration field, but one that he practiced with until he could keep it on in his sleep – was dead black and basically featureless helped a lot.

It also tended to impress people, which came in VERY useful when a teenaged Andres took up being a minor superhero in his spare time. His parents, quite sensibly, didn’t try to stop him – for all they knew it was destiny or something – but they did make VERY sure that he had some sensible protective gear and a best-available-quality first aid kit. Yes, Andres seemed to recover from any injury with amazing speed – but he couldn’t share that gift with other people and you never knew when something would go wrong.

They still worried when he left for college to study architecture (a skill he has put to practical use several times locating secret doors, rooms, and passages, as well as in determining where he can safely blast holes in walls without risking a collapse) – but doesn’t every parent worry about things like that? Andres, at least, was well able to look after himself.

—————————————————————————–

Andre’s powers are fairly straightforward: he can annihilate matter and energy – although his fine control certainly leaves something to be desired. He can destroy what he touches, open great holes through obstacles, levitate himself with the howling winds resulting as the air rushes in to replace what he has disintegrated, and he can annihilate air to generate pressure waves and implosions. Even better, when he destroys material, a portion of it’s energies flows into HIM – swiftly restoring any injuries he has suffered.

On the downside, he is anything but stealthy – and is well known for accidentally annihilating clues. He’s also more than a bit accident prone, a likely a consequence of injuries healing so quickly that he forgets to worry about safety.

 

Vortex

Value Characteristic Points
15 STR 5
18 DEX 24
13 CON 6
10 BODY 0
13 INT 3
11 EGO 2
15/30 PRE 5
15 COM 2
3 PD 0
3 ED 0
4 SPD 12
6 REC 0
20 END -3
25 STUN 0
Total 56

 

Points Powers END
25 Disintegration Multipower (62-pt reserve); Variable Limitations: -½, -¼; Only in Hero ID: -¼; Visible (Absurdly attention-grabbing: creates howling winds vanishing into the darkness, small items being swept up, lights dimming, black lightning, etc. ): -¼; Generic Limitation (Occasionally accidentally obliterates small objects in the vicinity – such as car keys, clues, maps, doorknobs, utensils, food, and so on. ): -¼; Generic Limitation (Disintegration Effects Only): -½
u-2 3d6+1 Disintegrating Palm: Killing Attack (HTH) (Total 4d6+1); Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Active Points: 62 2
u-2 Tunneling (12″ through DEF 12); Tunnels: Left Behind, +0 2
u-2 3d6 Black Lightning of Disintegration / Killing Attack (RKA); Range: 280; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 2
u-2 20″ Flight (NC: 160″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×8, +10; Non-Combat (MPH): 238; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Generic Limitation (He is being carried along by the wind going into his disintegration field, which he projects ahead of him. This makes it hard to see ahead of him and requires dexterity checks to maneuver, ): -½ 2
u-2 3d6 Air Implosion Energy Blast; Range: 300; Versus: ED; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; No Normal Defense (Force Field, Life Support versus Pressure): +1; Active Points: 60; Autofire: 5 shots, ½; Reduced END: Zero, +1 0
u-2 Telekinesis / Vacuum Tendrils (STR 33); Range: 305; Manipulation: Coarse, +0; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 2
3 Elemental Control: Disintegration (6-pt reserve); Only in Hero ID: -¼; Visible (Absurdly attention-grabbing: creates howling winds vanishing into the darkness, small items being swept up, lights dimming, black lightning, etc. ): -¼; Generic Limitation (Occasionally accidentally obliterates small objects in the vicinity – such as car keys, clues, maps, doorknobs, utensils, food, and so on. ): -¼
a-4 +15 PRE; Linked (Linked to Force Field): -½
b-10 Force Field (6 PD/6 ED); Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1 0
c-2 12″ Gliding (NC: 24″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 36; Generic Limitation (Only to avoid falling while Multipower is diverted from Flight.): -1
d-10 2d6 Aid: Damaged Abilities (Fade/turn, Max. 12); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Trigger (Whenever he uses his Disintegration Multipower and there is matter around to affect.): Set, +¼; Generic Limitation (Only works on himself): -½; Only in Hero ID: -¼; Generic Limitation (Healing Only): -½ 0
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
5 Instant Change; Clothes: One Set, 5
77 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
5 Money (Well Off)
10 +2 level w/Multipower
3 Acting 15-
6 Architecture 15-
3 Bureaucratics 15-
27 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
22 Armored Costume; Focus: Inobvious Inaccessible, -¼; Generic Limitation (Conventional Technology): -1
(8) Armor (6 PD/6 ED)
(3) Built In Smartphone: Radio Listen and Transmit ; Champions Advantage (Smartphone Functions): +½
(1) Architectural Reference Program: +3 to Architecture
(2) Protective Lenses: Infrared Vision
(2) Protective Lenses: Flash Defense (Sight, 5 pts)
(2) Morphic Fibers / Instant Change ; Clothes: One Set, 5
(4) Need Not Breathe / Oxygen Supply
1 Good Sneakers / Running (+1″, 7″, NC: 14″) 1; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 3; OIF: -½
3 3d6 Generic Healing / First Aid Kid 0; Focus (First Aid Kit): Obvious Accessible, -1; Charges: +6, -¾; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½; Concentrate: ½ DCV, -¼; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼
4 Vehicle / High End Sports Car: 22
30 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
15 Terrible Liar. +5 Bonus to any rolls to detect him lying. (Frequently, Greatly)
20 Honorable (Common, Total)
10 Carouser (Uncommon, Strong)
15 Secret Identity (Andres Carrillo)
10 Dependent NPC: Current Girlfriend (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
10 Dependent NPC / Family Member (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
5 1d6 Unluck
10 Watched: Police (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Hunted; Barevi Gang (8-); Capabilities: As Powerful, 10; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
; The Barevi Gang sells drugs, fences stolen goods, and otherwise subsists just above the street-gang level. They might hire some low-grade villainous muscle if something REALLY big comes up.
5 Doesn’t like crowds. (Uncommon, Moderate)
10 Vulnerability: “Cosmic” Energies (1½× STUN and BODY); Attack: Uncommon, +5
5 Accidental Change if Clothing involuntarily removed (8-)
125 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
56 + 104 = 160 225 = 125 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
6 6 4 0 15/12 15/12 3, 6, 9, 12

 

Vortex is straightforward enough – although he’d very difficult to wear down with that Aid power. On the other hand… a really good shot will take him out all at once, which still leaves him reasonably vulnerable.

Also, making just-getting-started superhero characters is definitely helping battle my writers block. Go superheroes!

Champions – Soul Mirror

Falling.

High “above” the shattered constructs of thought and magic boiled away into the void of the deep astral, between the realms of dreams and imagination, the broken remains of psychic shields and weapons were returning to the swirling mists of potentiality from which they had been drawn.

Falling.

Guardian and Destroyer, Deva and Asura, ancient enemies – and once again, far too evenly matched. Wounded and depleted, immortal, yet with little power remaining.

Falling.

Wounded and depleted. No longer having the power to sustain themselves in the higher realms. Cloudy dreams, mathematical constructs, heavens and hells, tales and legends, whirling past like dry leaves in a burning whirlwind, some smoldering and near-forgotten, others blazing bright.

None solid enough.

Far below… the worlds of matter. The realms of souls incarnate. Where even weak and injured spirit-beings might find a host, a soul to infuse with their remaining power – and to rest and heal with throughout a mortal lifetime.

A myriad sparks burned, calling.

FALLEN.

—————————————————————————————

And, for just a moment, a spark of holy fire burned within a child’s eyes, briefly eclipsing the antics of the Coyote and the Roadrunner.

But Dyhana’s mother, who could find no cause and nothing wrong when she came to check on her daughter, dismissed the sudden flash of light as a bit of lightning, or electrical surge, or some headlights shining in the window. It was nothing to worry about.

But deep within, there burned a new awareness of higher realms.

—————————————————————————————

She knew that her parents and siblings had their rough edges early on – but she gently made them aware of their faults, and guided them. Everyone mixed the Light and the Darkness – and that was the way that it should be here, in Malchut-Assiah – but the Light was to be fed, and strengthened, and the Darkness restrained.

Most people were lost in denial, in unawareness of their inward selves – focused almost entirely on the physical world, rather than on the spirit.

And she knew that she should have patience – but that could be ABSOLUTELY INFURIATING! So many people were shallow-self-centered, and believed whatever was easiest most convenient for them! Such a PAIN!

—————————————————————————————

Dhyana’s powers are straightforward – at least according to Hindu mysticism; she can see the state of your soul, determine it’s attachments and drives – and share a part of that insight. Those she focuses upon with unshielded minds will find themselves drained of their will to resist and open to her mental influence.

Other than that… she’s accepted a few rewards for assisting the authorities with her special senses (useful even if she does insist on being anonymous about it), had them put on “pay to bearer” pre-paid credit cards, and has purchased a padded kevlar suit. If she’s going to get out in harms way, something tells her that getting physically hurt is VERY dangerous.

Whether or not Dhyana – or “Soul Mirror” – hosts a Deva who guides or an Asura who forces… is yet to be discovered.

Soul Mirror

Value Characteristic Points
8 STR -2
15 DEX 15
18 CON 16
10 BODY 0
10 INT 0
18 EGO 16
15 PRE 5
12 COM 1
2/10 PD 0
4/12 ED 0
4 SPD 15
6 REC 0
18 END -9
23 STUN 0
Total 57

 

Points Powers END
13 Mirror Of The Soul (40-pt reserve); Activation: 14-, -½; Side Effects (Finding out something that you would REALLY rather not know): 30/Half, -½; Generic Limitation (Only mental Detections versus only one target at a time. ): -1
u-1 Detect Personality Flaws (+5 to PER); Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Ranged: +½; Time Required: Instant, +2
u-1 Detect Ignorance and Poor Logic (+5 to PER); Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Ranged: +½; Time Required: Instant, +2
u-1 Detect Likely Fate if you continue your current course (+5 to PER); Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Ranged: +½; Time Required: Instant, +2
u-1 Detect what explanation or password someone will find acceptable (+15 to PER); Active Points: 40; Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
u-1 Detect what a person is trying to hide from you (+15 to PER); Active Points: 40; Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
u-1 Detect motivations and aspirations (+15 to PER); Active Points: 40; Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
u-1 Detect fetishes, fantasies, and what they will find arousing. (+15 to PER); Active Points: 40; Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
24 1d6 Soul-Stunning Gaze: Drain (Ego) (Return/hour); Range: 300; Autofire: 10 shots, ¾; Based on EGO Combat Value: vs. ECV, +1; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +1; Affects: Single Power, +0; Champions Advantage (Ego Effect that does “Body”): +1; Extra Time: full phase, -½; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½; Generic Limitation (Ego is reduced only versus the effects of her multipower): -¼; Variable Limitations: -½, -¼ 0
19 Soul Stunning Gaze Side Effects Multipower (52-pt reserve); Linked (To Ego Drain): -½; Extra Time: full phase, -½; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½; Variable Limitations: -½, -¼
u-2 7d6 Mental Illusions; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-2 7d6 Mind Control; Communication: Verbal, +0; Reduced END: Zero 0
u-2 7d6 Telepathy; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-2 1d6 Transform / Mental Editing (Major, Limited Class); Range: 245; Based on EGO Combat Value: vs. ECV, +1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Cumulative: +½ 0
u-2 2d6 Mental Paralysis Entangle (DEF 2); Range: 250; Based on EGO Combat Value: vs. ECV, +1; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
79 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
24 +12 level w/Soul Draining Gaze
24 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
15 Protective Costume; OIF (Costume): -½
(8) +8 ED
(8) +8 PD
(6) Damage Resistance (6 PD/6 ED)
3 Money (Well Off); OIF (Prepaid “bearer” Credit Card): -½
18 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
20 Normal Characteristic Maxima
10 Underage (Frequently, Slightly)
10 Watched: The Authorities (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
20 Code Against Killing (Common, Total)
20 SERIOUSLY disappointed in most people (Very Common, Strong)
10 Withdrawn (Uncommon, Strong)
15 Secret Identity (Dhyana Joshi)
15 Susceptibility: Using her powers on demons and similar creatures of incarnate evil; (2d6 STUN/Turn); Condition: Uncommon, +5
120 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
57 + 103 = 160 220 = 120 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
5 5 6 0 10/6 12/6 3, 6, 9, 12

Female, 92 Lbs, 5’0, of Indian extraction.

 

Soul Mirror’s powers are not really a good set for a hero. Her major attacks are pretty much all-or-nothing; if she targets a low-ego character with no mental defenses… she can almost certainly drain his or her Ego down to zero for the next hour, leaving them totally unable to escape her mental paralysis. Worse, her talents can cause massive (and quite undefined in game terms) psychological disturbances, and can force the game master to come up with all kinds of personal information on minor NPC’s at the drop of a hat. I don’t mind that much – but it would be VERY well advised to check with your game master first and see if he or she is willing to put up with that before copying that little multipower.

Champions – Nguvu

Akilah’s parents pushed her to excel in academics, sports, and group status from an early age. Unlike most children, however, Akilah seemed filled with a sparkling energy, a pure vigor that allowed her to meet those expectations. She was strong, fast, and healthy enough to excel in any physical activity (with the martial arts a favorite), bright enough to do well academically with a little tutoring, and sociable enough to let those strengths take her to the top of the class.

Admittedly, there were problems here and there. Perhaps most notably when Nicholas Orvadeci, at fifteen to her thirteen, tried his hand at a little aggravated sexual assault. Her kick dead-ended that particular branch of the Orvadeci tree, and resulted in the permanent enmity of the wealthy and influential family, but was blatant self-defense.

She was fifteen when the bus she was on was involved in an eighteen-vehicle pileup in a patch of fog.

Escaping the bus with her friends called for smashing open the jammed back door, which proved easy enough. It didn’t even hurt her hand.

Getting a couple of little kids out of the next car called for yanking the car door off – and so she did.

By the time she reached the worst cases… the video that got the most play on the news showed her picking up a fully-loaded tractor-trailer to get at the car beneath it.

————————————————————————————-

An attempt at government recruiting did not go so well. Her parents had some pretty major doubts about THAT, even if their daughter suddenly having super-powers was quite a disruption in their plans for her – and Akilah had some pretty strong doubts about the government in general and the military in particular.

On the military side… Akilah didn’t yet have any real control over her various power-boosting abilities (her Multipower and Strength Aid) – and so tested out as possessing a rather low level of super-strength, and a similar level of toughness. The was certainly far better than human – but it was not the kind of power level they were looking for in a fast response team intended to handle world-threatening menaces. From their point of view… Akilah fit in best on a “call in appropriate emergency” backup list and could safely be left to play “local hero” if she wanted. She was quite tough and strong enough for THAT.

————————————————————————————-

Akilah dropped her competitive sports of course. With her new powers it wouldn’t have been fair – and might well have been dangerous to the other players. Over the next few months, however, she found that her talents were FAR more versatile than she’d thought – and it was nice to help people.

She got into college at sixteen. The local university had had it’s doubts – but while there was the possibility of some sort of attack or complication, the bad publicity from a series of on-campus sexual assaults was killing them. Admitting a young, African-American, female, superheroine who was known to violently oppose such crimes – and thus getting her to effectively patrol their campus for free – looked like the advantages would far outweigh the potential complications.

————————————————————————————-

The military was quite right as far as it goes. Akilah’s powers aren’t particularly epic; her super-strength and inhuman toughness are strictly mediocre (although it helps that the only thing that costs her any endurance is her base movement). On the other hand, her ability to either boost her strength a bit more or add modifiers such as Affects Desolid, Armor-Piercing, or Cone Explosion to it is pretty handy – and throwing in her martial arts talents on top of that can make her quite effective.

At least until a technique fails and abruptly leaves her near-exhausted. She’s going to want to work on that. 

Nguvu (“Strength”)

Value Characteristic Points
10/40 STR 0
16 DEX 18
18 CON 16
10 BODY 0
14 INT 4
8 EGO -4
10 PRE 0
13 COM 1
10 PD 2
4 ED 0
4 SPD 14
12 REC 0
20 END -8
39 STUN 0
Total 43

 

Points Powers END
22 Martial Arts Multipower (60-pt reserve); Linked (to Strength): -½; Activation: 15-, -¼; Side Effects (Drains End if skill roll failed): 30/Half, -½; Generic Limitation (Slots are limited to a maximum of 30 active points.): -½
u-1 +20 STR; Doesn’t Affect Figured: -½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Generic Limitation (Only for combat purposes; cannot life massive weights, rip apart entangles, etc.): -½ 0
u-1 Hand-to-Hand Attack Nerve Strike (4d6, Total 8d6); Range: 0; No Normal Defense: +1; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Hand-to-Hand Attack / Martial Strike (6d6, Total 14d6); Range: 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 1d6+1 Killing Attack (HTH) / Iron Hand Strike (Total 2½d6); Range: 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 +10 DEX Practiced Kata; Doesn’t Affect Figured: -½
u-1 Running / Light Foot (+10″, 16″, NC: 32″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 30; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Superleap / Light Foot (+20″, 28″, NC: 56″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 60; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Enhanced Perception (all) (+10 to PER)
u-1 Armor / Iron Shirt Technique (10 PD/10 ED)
u-1 Life Support (total) / The Rejuvenating Manual
u-1 4d6 Healing Touch / Chi Healing; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
10 Elemental Control: Your Basic Brick (15-pt reserve); Only in Hero ID: -¼; Variable Limitations (Normally either maintaining an intensive training routine or activation checks): -½, -¼
a-30 +30 STR; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1 0
b-10 Armor (10 PD/10 ED)
c-11 2d6 Aid to Strength and Strength Modifiers (Fade/turn, Max. 20); Range: 0; Active Points: 38; Autofire: 5 shots, ½; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Reduced END: Zero, +1; Generic Limitation (The boost is personal-only and lasts only as long as the power is “fired” each action. ): -½ 0
94 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
10 +2 level w/Multipower
3 Animal Handler 11-
3 Breakfall 12-
3 Scientist
1 Anthropology 11-
1 Biology 11-
1 Psychology 11-
1 Sociology 11-
23 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

100+ Disadvantages
10 Public Identity (Akilah Gowan)
5 Distinctive Features; Concealability: Easily, 5; Reaction: Noticed and Recognizable, +0
20 Honorable (Common, Total)
15 Hatred of Bullies, Molesters, and Similar (Common, Strong)
20 Vulnerability to Life Force Drains (2× STUN and BODY); Attack: Uncommon, +5
10 Watched: The Authorities (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Dependent NPC: Relatives (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
10 Hunted: Orvadeci Family (8-); Capabilities: Less Powerful, 5; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Tends to swing between over-analysis and impatient action (Common, Moderate)
5 Reputation: Overprotective, Crazy-Ass, Militant Bitch (11-, Extreme); Generic Limitation (Only applies to militant, male-supremacist, assholes): -2
10 Vulnerability to Negative Energy (1½× STUN and BODY); Attack: Uncommon, +5
125 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
43 + 117 = 160 225 = 125 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
5 5 3 0 20/10 14/10 3, 6, 9, 12

 

Champions – Lyeska, the Spirit Speaker

Some things were not supposed to happen at the Magic Kingdom. Child disappearances were one of them. A child disappearing from a ride ought to have been IMPOSSIBLE.

It wasn’t – although, to be fair… It wasn’t something that Disney could have anticipated or avoided.

Finnian MacBrádaigh was eight years old – and had found “Peter Pan’s Flight” entrancing. A magical flight over London, headed for Neverland!

And that sense of wonder brought a portion of his nascent talents into operation. For him, and for him alone… the darkness of the ride became a whirling gateway, a vortex that scooped him out of his seat in the ship-car of the ride to hurl him bodily into the astral depths of the Never-Never and the magical realm of Neverland – leaving behind an empty seat to panic his parents, trigger a shutdown, and launch a futile search by the mystified attendants.

No trace of Finnian would be found for a twelve years to come.

——————————————————————————-

Finnian had been lucky. While the Never-Never was filled with fey, and myths, and terrible dangers, his accidental portal had been the tales of Peter Pan. Despite Captain Hook and his Pirates, Neverland was fairly benign – and there were potential friends and allies close at hand.

Despite the frantic efforts of his parents, of the Disney corporation, and the police… Finnian was a Lost Boy.

And the years passed, despite the timelessness and perpetual youth of Neverland. Finnian found that he had a knack for magic – picking up bits of lore from the Fey and from Kuimba Abakhawathe – the Shaman of the local “Indian” tribe, Singing Loon.

His talents grew – as did he as he explored the never-never beyond the timeless agelessness of Neverland,

Eventually Finnian became too old for Neverland – but Singing Loon had helped him craft a pouch of magic to aid him in crossing the Never-Never and he now possessed enough power to open a path back to Earth.

Naturally enough, there were complications – the first being a very public emergence in London with a couple of werewolf-things in close pursuit. While they – as night terrors – weren’t actually all that powerful on their own, in the material world, and in broad daylight – and so were fairly readily banished – there were plenty of cell phone videos of a deerskinr-clad youngster throwing lightning bolts at wolf- monsters up on youtube within just a few minutes.

Thanks to the wild variances in the flow of time in the Never-Never, Finnian was physically younger than he was supposed to be (if mentally older) – but his fingerprints, footprints, and a reasonably recent photo were all on file thanks to his conscientious parents – allowing the American Embassy to readily prove that he WAS the youngster who’d disappeared from The Magic Kingdom twelve years ago.

No matter how fantastical the story, the videos, fingerprints, and blatant magical powers were kind of difficult to ignore.

They sent him home for a reunion with his parents (who are still mystified, if overjoyed) – and for some fairly direct attempts at recruitment. The boy might be physically underage, but reasonably well-trained and publicly known mages were rare and valuable.

Finnian hasn’t yet made up his mind on that. Sure, it’s a good job – but it’s not like Neverland raises kids to be particularly responsible adults, even if they generally do turn out to be brave, loyal, and goodhearted.

——————————————————————————-

Finnian is a living nexus between the Spirit Realms and the Physical World – an anchor that allows occasional spirits to make it through the barriers into reality. His powers are all based on Spirit Magic. At the most basic, his senses extend into the Spirit World and he can be attacked from it (in which case he’ll have to use Astral Projection to defend himself), he can channel the powers of various totem spirits, he can draw power from the spirit realms to bind into a modest selection of per-prepared spells, and his Medicine Pouch can be “stocked” with a modest number of additional spells and some raw magic to fuel them with – but even with the pouch, he runs out of steam quickly and requires a good deal of time to recharge his reserves.

Finnian usually prepares a few long-duration spells (a single charge with a one-day duration, +0). While this leaves him vulnerable if they’re dispelled, it’s better than having nothing to use for most of the day. For example, he could call upon Sun Wukong’s Iron Staff: (+10d6 Hand Attack (30 points), +15 PD/+10 ED Force Field (25 points), +5 Flash Defense (5 points), deactivates if forcibly disarmed and not reclaimed within the turn) and the Lion Totem – and he’ll have a weapon for the rest of the day (or until someone dispels or takes it away) and some decent combat boosts for an hour. Of course that will make him a hairy wild man-cat who bludgeons things with an iron staff instead of a disciplined mage, but Lost Boys are never much for social conventions.

Unfortunately, as a nexus and a Lost Boy, Finnian has obligations to help defend Neverland, is pursued by fantastical figures (ranging from the Green Witch and her desire to marry him and thus free herself to walk the physical world at will), through Captain Hook (and his flying pirate ship), and on to whatever insane creature of myth and legend has gotten loose today.

He’ll probably need to improve quickly.

Lyeska, the Spirit Speaker

Value Characteristic Points
13 STR 3
17 DEX 21
23 CON 26
10 BODY 0
10 INT 0
14 EGO 8
15 PRE 5
13 COM 1
6 PD 3
6 ED 1
4 SPD 13
8 REC 0
40 END -3
29 STUN 0
Total 78

 

Points Powers END
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
3 Elemental Control: Shamanic Powers (6-pt reserve); Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼; Generic Limitation (Dimensional Vulnerability: User can be attacked from the Astral Plane without any special modifiers.): -½; Generic Limitation (User will attract spirits with problems and will be expected to undertake various missions for the great spirits): -½; Visible (Readily Detectable, -.25), (-.5).
a-2 Mental Defense (15 pts); Add to Total; Always On: -½
b-5 Astral Senses
(4) Astral Sight (+0 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Always On: -½
(4) Astral Hearing (+0 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Always On: -½
c-2 Power Defense (12 pts); Always On: -½; Generic Limitation (Only versus magical and spirit attacks): -½
d-13 6d6 Aid: Shamanic Magic (Fade/turn, Max. 60); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Trigger: Changeable, +½; Points fade instantly after power used: -½; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Generic Limitation (May only prepare and cast seven spells per day): -1; Increased END: ×2, -½ 10
e-2 Extra-Dimensional Movement; The Astral Plane; Dimensions: One, +0; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Generic Limitation (Leaves physical body behind): -1; Increased END: ×5, -2 10
f-8 2d6 Aid / Totem Powers (Spirit Channeling) (Fade/5 hours, Max. 20); Range: 0; Active Points: 63; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2; Side Effects (Distinctive Features, Animal Instincts): 30/Half, -½; Trigger: Changeable, +½; Extra Time: 1 min., -1½; Generic Limitation (All points fade at once): -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Generic Limitation (Only to invoke spirits, only to add abilities up to the appropriate limits for the spirits invoked.): -½; Increased END: ×2, -½; Generic Limitation (May not have more than five different triggers ready at once.): -½; Generic Limitation (No more than six aspects per spirit. ): -½ 8
91 Sample Spider Totem Summons
(13) Clinging (Clinging STR +10)
(20) 2d6 Entangle (DEF 2); Range: 100 2
(20) Swinging (+16″, NC: 32″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 48; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 2
(12) Chitin Armor (4 PD/4 ED)
(9) +3 DEX
(17) +17 STR 2
91 Sample Eagle Totem Summons
(19) +15 STR; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 1
(9) +3 DEX
(20) +2 SPD
(19) 7″ Flight (NC: 28″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×4, +5; Non-Combat (MPH): 42 1
(9) Telescopic Sense (Sight, +6 to PER)
(15) 1d6 Killing Attack (HTH) (Total 1½d6); Range: 0 1
92 Sample Lion Totem Summons
(20) +20 STR 2
(18) +6 DEX
(9) Armor (4 PD/2 ED)
(20) 1d6+1 Killing Attack (HTH) (Total 2d6); Range: 0 2
(15) Running (+6″, 20″, NC: 40″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Non-Combat (MPH): 18 1
(10) Tracking Scent
91 Sample Unicorn Totem Summons
(20) +10 REC
(15) +15 PRE
(15) 3d6 Healing Touch 1
(20) Running (+8″, 20″, NC: 40″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Non-Combat (MPH): 24 1
!(15) 1d6 Aid (Immunities) (Fade/month, Max. 6); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼ 1
(6) Enhanced Perception (all) (+2 to PER)
92 Sample Serpent Totem Summons
(18) +6 DEX
(20) +2 SPD
(18) Armor (6 PD/6 ED)
(18) Hand-to-Hand Attack / Venom Touch (3d6, Total 4d6); Range: 0; No Normal Defense (Versus Hardened Physical Defenses): +1 2
(5) Infrared Vision
(13) Stealth 17-
41 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
30 +3 level w/Overall Level
2 Gaelic (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
2 Area Knowledge: The Never-Never 11-
3 Scholar
2 Knowledge: Magic 12-
1 Knowledge: The Astral Realms 11-
1 Knowledge: Literature 11-
41 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
22 Medicine Pouch; Focus: Obvious Accessible, -1; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Activation: 14-, -½; Side Effects (Drain 3d6 Stun): 30/Half, -½
(2) END Reserve (60 END, 2 REC/turn)
(19) Multipower (62-pt reserve)
u-1 2d6 Aid: Adding Multipower Slots (Fade/week, Max. 12) 3; Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼
8 Armor / Magically Toughened Leather Clothing (4 PD/4 ED) ; OIF (Leather Clothing): -½
30 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
10 Dependent NPC: Younger Lost Boys (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
10 Public Identity (Finnian MacBrádaigh)
10 Hunted: The Green Witch (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Mild, -5
15 Hunted: Captain Hook and Company (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
15 Hunted: Random Creatures of the Never-Never (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Watched: The Authorities (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
15 Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
20 Code Against Killing (Common, Total)
15 Prankster (Very Common, Moderate)
5 Reputation: Promising Young Mage (8-)
15 Phys. Lim: Occasionally gets “sucked into” various works of fiction and must find an exit from the plot to get out . For him, popular fictions are dangerous portals. (Infrequently, Fully)
10 Phys. Lim: Uncivilized. Was literally raised by savages, pirates, and other stray kids, and has no awareness of current idioms or culture beyond what an eight year old from more than a decade ago would know. (Frequently, Slightly)
150 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
78 + 82 = 160 250 = 150 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
6 6 5 15 10/4 10/4 3, 6, 9, 12

 

Champions – Planck

Elliot Lumis had always had good reflexes – but lately he’d been finding that he got things done faster than everyone else.

A LOT faster.

And then one day a transformer blew outside the office, shattering half the windows and sending a shower of jagged chunks of razor-sharp glass across the room, with three of his friends in the way.

And time stopped. As if he was Phillip J. Fry on Futurama and he had just imbibed his hundredth cup of coffee.

So he pulled the same stunt Fry had pulled on the program – walking over to his friends while time held still and pulling them out of the way before they could get hurt before returning to his seat to act surprised when time started up again.

Considering that later it made no sense – if time was stopped, how could he see, or breathe? – but it had definitely been HIM (a few experiments had made THAT clear) and it was pretty blatantly a super-power of some sort – and super-powers rarely did make a lot of sense.

————————————————————————————

It WAS a pretty neat power; he could “step out of time” (leaving physics to go cry in a corner) and wander about, interact with most objects and some creatures (although where the electricity came from to let him use computers made even less sense), move stuff about, and even pick up unresisting people and move them around with him. Conveniently enough, stepping out for a few seconds to change his clothing was no strain at all, and boosting his speed and reflexes was easy to maintain as well – although his talent did occasionally fail, with unpredictable exhausting backlash.

In game terms: “Walking around outside of time” is a limited form of teleportation – although it has a cargo capacity and the “autofire” modifier to permit stops along the way to pick people up and/or drop them off (up to his cargo capacity limits), returning to the starting location, and so on. The ability to gather information is handled by his Detection power, and the ability to move things around, and even set up hazards is handled by the radius-effect “Transform” function (setting up actual “attacks” is quite limited; as usual in my games, transform-created “attacks” are limited to one-half the active points in the transform – and thirty active points will not get you far against most villains). In effect, Planck can “step out of time” for about three minutes – during which time he can open doors, go exploring, swipe or move about any objects he “finds”, move up to three unresisting people about, and otherwise make trouble. In general, the game master should simply narrate this, since playing it out will bore everyone else.

Given that he didn’t actually have any super-powered defenses or attacks beyond some basic martial arts training, Elliot sensibly invested a few thousand dollars in some light body armor and some decent (if quite conventional) weapons before trying to play “hero” beyond a bit of rescue work.

Planck actually is a bit more powerful than he knows; his mere presence twists the course of time towards more acceptable-to-him outcomes a bit – providing any innocents or other heroes in the area with a bit of protection. It’s not a lot right now – but his power will likely grow if he doesn’t get himself killed.

————————————————————————————

Elliot originally intended to maintain a “secret identity”, but that just didn’t work out. Looking back on it… cosplaying Dr. Who as a superhero costume probably wasn’t that good an idea. The lack of a mask probably should have told him THAT, but he’d been pretty overexcited at the time.

Still, computer games companies were notoriously accommodating about their better software developers personal lives – and Elliot might be only twenty-two, but he was quite skilled, fairly creative, and somehow almost always accomplished three times as much work in a day as a normal programmer could. If he wanted to play superhero (and thus attract trouble)… they could simply shift him to a “work-from-home” model.

 

Planck

Value Characteristic Points
15 STR 5
16/26 DEX 18
18 CON 16
10 BODY 0
18 INT 8
11 EGO 2
10 PRE 0
12 COM 1
6 PD 3
4 ED 0
3/6 SPD -6
7 REC 0
36 END 0
27 STUN 0
Total 47

 

Points Powers END
13 Elemental Control: Out of Time (30-pt reserve); Activation: 14-, -½; Side Effects (3d6 End Drain): 30/Half, -½; Visible (Creates temporal disturbances which time-sensitives can pick up miles away.): -¼
a-18 15″ Teleportation (Long Range 15″); Increased Range: ×1, +0; Long Range: 15″; Long Range (miles): 0.02; Mass Multiplier: ×4, +10; Fixed Locations: 0; Floating Locations: 0; Autofire: 5 shots, ½; Reduced END: Half, +½; Generic Limitation (Cannot reach any location that the user could not reach on foot within three minutes. ): -½ 1
b-13 1d6 Transform: Move objects around as if given three undisturbed minutes to do so. (Minor, Limited Class); Range: 300; Cumulative: +½; Area Effect (Radius): 32″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×16, +1; Autofire: 20 shots, 1¼; Reduced END: Zero, +1 0
c-13 Plot Armor / Destiny Manipulation (5 PD/5 ED); Hardened: ×2, ½; Invisible: To All Senses, +1; Area Effect (Radius): 8″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×2, +¼; Selective Target: +¼
d-8 5d6 Aid (Dex) (Fade/5 hours, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power, +0; Autofire: 5 shots, ½; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Generic Limitation (Personal Only): -½; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Charges: 12, -¼ 0
e-7 5d6 Aid (Speed) (Fade/5 hours, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power, +0; Autofire: 5 shots, ½; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Generic Limitation (Personal Only): -½; Linked (To Dexterity Aid): -½; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Charges: 12, -¼ 0
Aid Effects
+10 DEX
+3 SPD
10 Detect / What I would have found out if I had spent three minutes “out of time” exploring an area. (+8 to PER); Generic Limitation (Works as if you’d actually gone to explore): -1; Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Linked (To Transform / Out-of-Time Search): -½
2 Instant Change; Clothes: One Set, 5; Focus (Clothing Satchel): Obvious Accessible, -1; Focus Applicability: Universal; Focus Breakability: Breakable; Fragile Focus: -¼
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
90 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
3 Computer Programming 13-
3 Deduction 13-
3 Security Systems 13-
3 Lockpicking 14-
3 Basic Strike (OCV +1, DCV +0, 5d6)
4 Martial Dodge (OCV –, DCV +5)
4 Martial Block (OCV +2, DCV +2)
23 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
13 Multipower: Equipment (40-pt reserve); OAF (Various Items): -1; Generic Limitation (Conventional Technology. User must gesture, all powers other than basic melee weapons must run on charges, technological limitations, etc.): -1
u-1 8d6 Energy Blast / Shotgun with Gel Shells 0; Range: 200; Versus: PD; Charges: +6, -¼; Clips: 4
u-1 4d6 Entangle / Netgun (DEF 4) 0; Range: 200; Charges: +6, -¼; Clips: 4
u-1 8d6 Stun Only Energy Blast / Heavy Taser 0; Range: 200; Versus: ED; Charges: 8, +0; Clips: 3
u-1 2d6 Energy Blast / Dart Gun 0; Range: 200; Versus: ED; Continuous (Turned off by Caffeine or any other strong stimulant): +1; No Normal Defense: +1; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1
u-1 Flares: Change Environment/Brightly Lit (32″ rad.) 0; Effect: Fixed, +0; Charges: 6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev
u-1 2d6 Flash Pellets (Normal Sight) 0; Range: 200; Area Effect (Radius): 2″ radius, +1; Charges: 12, -¼
u-1 Tonfa(s
(7) Hand-to-Hand Attack (6d6, Total 9d6) 1; Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼
(4) Force Field (Blocking) (10 PD/0 ED) 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Generic Limitation (Only versus melee and slow-moving ranged attacks that the user is aware of.): -½
2 2d6 Generic Healing / First Aid Kid 0; Charges: +4, -1; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Focus: Obvious Accessible, -1; Fragile Focus: -¼; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼
7 Armored Undersuit; Focus: Inobvious Inaccessible, -¼; Generic Limitation (Conventional Technology): -1
(5) Armor (4 PD/4 ED)
(2) Protective Goggles: Flash Defense (Sight, 5 pts)
1 Cell Phone (0kg)
30 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
5 Distinctive Features: Cosplays as Dr Who; Concealability: Easily, 5; Reaction: Noticed and Recognizable, +0
15 Hunted: Renegades (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Watched: Authorities (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Public Identity
10 Rivalry: Other Time Manipulators; Situation: Professional, 5; Position: Superior, +5; Rival: NPC, +0
20 Code of Chivalry (Common, Total)
15 Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
15 Honorable (Common, Strong)
10 Reputation: “That kid who thinks he’s a time lord” (11-)
20 Vulnerability to Ice Powers (2× STUN); Attack: Common, +10
130 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
47 + 113 = 160 230 = 130 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
9 9 4 0 15/9 13/9 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

 

Planck has a powerful information-gathering talent, and can pull off a lot of minor tricks with his “moving things around outside of time” power – but his offensive abilities and defenses are sadly lacking. Ergo, at least for the moment, he relies on his minor martial arts skills and conventional gear.

 

Superheroics, Champions, and the Action Guy

After weeks of writers block, I’m going to try to kickstart things a bit with some quick heroes – mostly inspired by an encounter with a REALLY bad game master.

Seriously… if you don’t know the rules (combat, movement, etc), can’t design decent (or even functional) characters, produce nonsensical scenarios full of plot holes, portray all your NPC’s as utter idiots who either do (and know) nothing or just go berserk and attack, provide only one “clue” (the address for your fight scene with amazingly convenient timing), and know nothing at all about law enforcement (even what you’d get from watching a few episodes of cop shows)… run another game.

“Action Guy” is pretty straightforward: he’s an athletic, but otherwise normal, human being with a bit of firearms training, light body armor, and a selection of conventional weapons. He’d make a decent star for a lower-end action movie – but he’s certainly no superhero. You can expect to find plenty of elite military types, dedicated survivalists, and enforcers who are as good or better.

And that’s why a player should take a look. Superhero games involve a lot of conflict. If your hero – however young and inexperienced – will likely have some real trouble with this guy… He or she has no business trying to take up a career as a superhero. Sure, “with great power comes great responsibility” – but if you can’t handle several people like this with little trouble, you don’t HAVE great power.

Yes, there are plenty of characters in actual comic books who manage to get along with lower-grade powers (or no powers at all) and no real defenses. Squirrel Girl, Power Pack, the Riddler… all of them do just fine don’t they?

Yes, yes, they do. That’s because they, and everything that happens to them, is wholly under the control of the author. You don’t get that luxury with RPG’s. Superheroic RPG characters… have to be tough enough to survive poor decisions, lousy die rolls, villains that unexpectedly connect with their massive attack, stray bullets, and failing to disarm bombs.

Like it or not, Squirrel Girl and Power Pack and the Riddler would not make it as major characters in an RPG. If this guy has a good chance to do your character any real damage, then your character is too weak to be a superhero. He or she might be a heroic sidekick, or an empowered agent, or some such – but running around on superheroic patrol, looking for random trouble to dive into without scouting out the situation first, is simply going to get him or her killed.

Action Guy

Value Characteristic Points
15 STR 5
15 DEX 15
15 CON 10
10 BODY 0
10 INT 0
10 EGO 0
10 PRE 0
10 COM 0
4 PD 1
4 ED 1
3 SPD 5
6 REC 0
30 END 0
20 STUN -6
Total 31

 

Points Powers END
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
6 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
3 Acrobatics 12-
10 +2 level w/Ranged Combat
13 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
13 Multipower: Weapons (40-pt reserve); OAF (Guns and Weapons): -1; Generic Limitation (Conventional Technology. User must gesture, all powers other than basic melee weapons must run on charges, technological limitations, etc.): -1
u-1 8d6 Energy Blast / Shotgun with Gel Shells 0; Range: 200; Versus: PD; Charges: +6, -¼; Clips: 4
u-1 4d6 Entangle / Netgun (DEF 4) 0; Range: 200; Charges: +6, -¼; Clips: 4
u-1 2½d6 Killing Attack (RKA) / The Most Powerful Handgun In The World 0; Range: 200; Charges: 8, +0; Clips: 3
u-1 8d6 Energy Blast / Heavy Taser 0; Range: 200; Versus: ED; Charges: 8, +0; Clips: 3
u-1 2d6 Energy Blast / Dart Gun 0; Range: 200; Versus: ED; Continuous (Turned off by Caffeine or any other strong stimulant): +1; No Normal Defense: +1; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1
u-1 2d6 Killing Attack (HTH) / Big Knife (Total 3d6) 1; Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼
u-1 Tonfa
(7) Hand-to-Hand Attack (6d6, Total 9d6) 1; Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼
(4) Force Field (Blocking) (10 PD/0 ED) 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Generic Limitation (Only versus melee and slow-moving ranged attacks that the user is aware of.): -½
7 Armored Undersuit; Focus: Inobvious Inaccessible, -¼; Generic Limitation (Conventional Technology): -1
(5) Armor (4 PD/4 ED)
(2) Protective Goggles: Flash Defense (Sight, 5 pts)
1 Good Shoes / Running (+1″, 7″, NC: 14″) 1; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 2; OIF: -½
2 Smartphone (0kg)
30 Total Equipment

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
31 + 19 = 50 100 = 0 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
5 5 3 0 8/4 8/4 4, 8, 12

 

“Action Guy” isn’t very powerful – but honestly, if you’ve gone and made a character who’s concept doesn’t really include offensive and/or notable defensive powers… Going ahead and grabbing Action Guy’s equipment package is cheap even if you DON’T use the equipment-allowance cheese slice – and it’s certainly sensible.

And yes; Action Guy would have handily defeated most of the characters that were handed out for that game… A melee specialist with a total physical defense of “2”, Speed 4, OCV / DCV 5, and a 4d6 autofire punch (without enough Endurance to use it even if he could expect to hit something?) Really?

 

The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice CCVIII – The City Of Winds

Once the Potawatomi had gathered wild onion, and garlic, and rice, and the products of the swamp and prairie on the borders of the lake. But the Wheel turned – and first a trading post, and then a town, and then a city rose.

Vibrant. Active. A crossroads of trade and activity.

Yet ever the Wheel turned. The city fell in fire – but rose once more, rooted in railways and rivers and the great lakes, building towers and factories.

And the Wheel turned. Depression and crime struck at the city, and the tides which had once swept people and industries to it ebbed. Great portions of the web of rails and routes that had made it great had rusted and closed,

Yet the Wheel turned.

Chicago had all too many closed, abandoned, and decaying rail-yards. Great masses of rusting steel – once machinery, rail-cars, rails, and even locomotives – too dangerous and unwieldy for their scrap value to pay for the labor of salvaging them. Valueless until the city should rise once more to need room or rails.

Someone had bought several of them, bringing in private contractors, and restoring them – yet it all seemed pointless; those lines were closed, unneeded – useless, save perhaps to some devotee of rail. Even the local gangs were too “cool” to take all the nonsense seriously – and mostly smart enough to know that fiddling around in the train-yards behind the backs of the professionals was stupidly dangerous – but the contractors were (weirdly enough) rather soft touches…

All they’d been installing was a few stone pillars and a path to nowhere along an old railway sideline – probably to put scenic exhibits along. Still, the reopening of the old station, if only as a museum or some such, promised free entertainment and refreshments.

A few people were taking it more seriously. Some had signed up for the promise of “gates”. No matter how unlikely that sounded, there were always the lost and desperate. Others… had felt the use of Essence, and the power being exerted to reshape the rail-yards. Enough power that those absurd promises of “Gates” might have something to them – presuming that they weren’t a cover for an invasion from the underworld or some such.

The city officials were a mix. A few knew enough to take it seriously, many more knew that a grand opening party was worth attending even if no obvious payoffs, or tricks to expose, cover-ups to be bribed into, or opportunity for local profit has yet appeared… A couple of the local dragon-bloods (water aspects, mostly favoring Larceny and Bureaucracy) had heard enough to think it worth their time, and wished to corner this gate before others could! But first… it had to open!

And the Wheel turned.

It was that or explode – and that too lay in the balance of destiny.

In Yu-Shan, time and reality twisted, ripped and reformed by floods of warring essence, erupting into pockets of raw Wyld and cascading years where even the Loom of Fate working it it’s own realm with the direct backing of the Maiden’s could no longer sustain causality. Still, while the results of many battles – horrific struggles against Deathlords, neverborn Kaiju, creatures of the Wyld, and confused imports from Alien Creations – were as yet indeterminate, the overall course of events was clear. The Song of Creation filled the air, echoed by the uncounted voices of gods, men, and stranger beings and sweeping around, over, and under such struggles as if they were mere rocks in a mighty flood.

As the Song reached the edges of the dome it passed though both the ancient gates to the Blessed Isle or Earth, and the gates to other places, and the erupting galactic gates – spreading over more than a hundred worlds. On ninety-six worlds – the seventy-two prepared for colonization and twenty-four more prepared as nature preserves – a dozen gate-manses apiece went into operation as planned. Each gate to Earth completed the geomancy of the security-and-service manses that had been constructed there, bringing THEM into operation as well.

And the Song of Creation spread further still, gifting the worlds with health, youth, and long, long, life. Six of North America’s nearly 248 gates opened in Chicago, where the security and support manses had been designed in an interlocking and mutually resonant grid – providing power, weather moderation, and various other services for the entire metropolitan area.

One was at the old Chicago Junction Terminal on Lakeshore Drive… Now parklike, save for the restored old terminal, junction lines, and turning circles, there was some staff on hand to open things up.

And precisely on time a vortex of energy swirled into existence at the end of the train tracks and the “path to nowhere”, the stone pillars became an arch, several underground structures opened up – and the gate opened, revealing an early-morning vista of mountains, valleys, rich forests, a glittering city on the hills above the wide river that watered the valley, and flocks of birds and animals roaming the land and the air above it. The path extended to several structures, including a warehouse, a stockyard, a “general store” or “trading post”, and a yard full of classical covered wagons – while the train tracks extended towards the city.

The warding, reconstructive, and protective spells that the Song was carrying had been meant to sustain and rebuild Yu-Shan despite the battle in it’s midst. Across cities that were merely run down, the effect of spells designed to rebuild after a war of Gods, Exalts, Deathlords, and Kaiju were quite dramatic.

And a very classical wood-burning train (with the locomotives firebox and boilers thamuaturgically augmented so as to actually need very little wood or water) gently chugged it’s way through, to take one of the circle turn-arounds and pull up to the station.

And save for the music, there was silence – and agape staring. Even the essence users were reeling as otherworldly dragon-lines linked to Earths – and rank-5 demesnes with preconstructed manses flared to life beneath their feet, sending a wave of essence coursing across the entire city!

Perhaps most importantly… the Song carried with it an impression of Charles, of his granting relief from all injuries, and of the (rather absurd) level of compassion that fueled it.

The stillness lasted more than long enough for the thoroughly inhuman guides and gate guardians (Anthro-canine-metallic amalgams, Coatl, and Kickaha) to take up their stations while the security manses began generating their own staff.

A people few backed away – they’d seen some crazy stuff, but not like THIS – but most found the music thoroughly reassuring…

Not too surprisingly, the Dragon-Blooded agents were the first to regain their composure.

(Inukami Train Conductor – as dryly and matter-of-factually as he could possibly manage) “We have two hundred and forty-three names on our first-run passenger list for the city of Artolis, leaving at least seven seats open for additional passengers on the first run. Actual settlers do have priority over journalists and agents who intend to report back in. The train will make the run every six hours for now. Those individuals and groups who have applied for homesteading packages and seek to claim their own lands in the vicinity of Artolis should check in with the office on the other side of the gate to pick up their supplies, livestock, and vehicles. The settlement guides will assist in locating and setting up land-claims.”

(Young Kickaha, much more mischievously) “And you can land on Europa if you want to, but this train doesn’t go there!”

Quite a few gang members were already pushing forward and heading down the path… Whoa! They needed to get their stuff! It was REAL! And maybe they should pass the word around their neighborhoods too…

The Exalts and thaumaturgists in the vicinity were noting that both ends of the gate fed through newly-activated rank-5 indestructible manses. A teenage boy had built THIS? Certainly they had gotten an impression, and whoever it was was absurdly compassionate and powerful, but most Exalts couldn’t build a level-5 Manse… Perhaps one of these Solars who were supposed to be running around now? And he was apparently freely offering new planets and supplies to ANYONE who wanted a fresh start – apparently including those idiotic ganger ne’er do wells… not that their presence didn’t cause a lot of problems for higher-end activity.

Charles rather thought that a simpler life would help a lot with that – although, to be fair, his basis for that notion was pure general theory.

Several Terrestrials had put in for land claims as well. Why not? At best it was free, and at worst it wouldn’t have mattered.

And it looked like the pioneering supplies included assorted thaumaturgical talismans and even the occasional minor artifact, even if it WAS mostly set up for homesteading. That was interesting! Not as impressive as whatever links were powering the gate, but there were at least hundreds of times as many minor artifacts as gates… Besides, since there WAS land available, it would be best to go through and claim the best spots before the others got back! They needed the best land with the best view!

The thought was obvious, and the staff silently wished them good luck with that. There were a LOT of nice spots on an optimized planet. Even if they just wanted to be near the city (and it’s high-end service manses) there should be lots of choices…

A few were sensible enough to ask. They wanted someplace secure and defensible, so the staff provided several likely locations – throwing in geomantic surveys as needed.

With that kind of cooperation… the terrestrials asked for the best Water demesne on the planet – and were deeply shocked to find that a fine selection of rank-5’s was available.

What” Had these creatures already mapped out the planet? They HAD to ask!

(Map Expert) “Well, the planet WAS designed; and so the geomancy is just as optimized as the ecology and physical resources!”

(Terrestrial) “Designed? How long did this take to build?”

(Map Expert) “The planet only took a few minutes, the ley line network came up to full power within the next three months – which let us bring the gate- and city-manses online”.

A FEW MINUTES? For a PLANET? Just how powerful was this “Charles”?

The staff cheerfully pulled up some audiovisual records of the terraforming – which revealed that he HAD used an existing lump of rock at least – but the planetary transformation was still gob-smacking! Of course…. they were talking to a rather high-end magical construct – that seemed to be manse-powered itself…

(Terrestrial) “So… how many Manses has this “Charles” made?”

(Map Expert) “Well, he makes them as needed, so there’s no real count.”

(Terrestrial) “What, like utility artifacts?”

(Map Expert) “Are they really that different on this scale?”

(Terrestrial, after a brief and thoughtful pause) “I suppose not… I suppose that we had best take a look, and perhaps see the effects of this terraforming for ourselves!”.

Meanwhile the local governmental reps were talking to the station clerk. They really hadn’t taken all the ads seriously, and while they’d gotten some advance warning from the local Terrestrials that something was happening, they were startled to see the extent.

(Anthropomorphic Golden Retriever running the check-in counter at the station) “Can I help you gentlemen?”

Now that was WEIRD… and it didn’t seem like an animatronic or a costume, It seemed to be breathing and everything! Still… their sources had said that there would be a LOT of weird stuff – and while this was VERY weird indeed, if it could help with the city’s financial issues, it was well worth a look.

The police were bypassing the line however.

(Golden Retriever Clerk) “Do you need something? (Suggestively) There IS a line…”

Oh boy. No one was going to believe THIS incident report! Despite the pictures!

(Sergeant) “Well… We need to have a look around here, to see that everything is up to code! We’ll need a tour of the… facility? And Explanations! Definitely explanations…”

That got them a Coatl – and a fairly straightforward tour: training setups for people who needed more skills before starting out, the supply stockpiles, maps, advice on setting up – and otherwise a good look at a fairly conventional train station and a statement that “Charles believes that people need more room, and new lands to explore – and so he is providing them. This station and the gate system are self-maintaining and close to perpetual”.

The police were having a bit of trouble deciding how to approach the situation. They weren’t trained for what was obviously a first contact scenario of sorts! And other planets were certainly out of their jurisdiction anyway… were they going to be dealing with trans-galactic commuters? The “Gate” did seem to be instantaneous… Would the city try to annex a planet like it would a new development? Was there even a government there beyond this “Charles” announcing “Here’s some stuff! Don’t hurt each other! Have fun!”? Just how much of Chicago’s population was going to abruptly move out?

Not to mention the “everything is suddenly new and shiny” seemed to go a LONG ways past the station-park! Pretty much every report from around the city was of things being cleaned, repaired, reinforced, and restored!

How many people would THAT put out of work? But then… they had a brand new city and world to move to, where apparently much of what you needed was free, training programs were sponsored, and everything was very nice.

Wait. There was no breach of the peace going on and there was no law against opening gates or giving pioneering equipment away. This was POLICY. Not police work! They could safely shove it all off on the bureaucracy!

And so they did.

That would, indeed, take some time… the bureaucrats would want more information, and to meet with Charles, and to investigate the new planet, and perhaps even to send someone to Aden. City bureaucracy being what it was, it would take months, if not years, to implement – unless, of course, someone went under the table (which was probably inevitable).

And then there would be the feds.

Across the world there were local attempts to cordon off some of the gates – but there were too many worldwide, scattered over every nation, for that to become more than a very temporary procedure in most places – and the Inukami staff, Kickaha guides, and Coatl could spread out as the security manses generated their own staff and guardians to bring in those who wished to emigrate across the cosmos regardless of minor opposition.

Fortunately for the Chicago authorities peace of mind, the Gate-Guardians were quite cooperative in some ways. They were happy to tell those who asked that the destination planets were situated in otherwise uninhabited Hubble Volumes; so no immigration was likely for the moment. They also proved to be fully cooperative about restraining (and turning over to the authorities) lunatics, serious or violent criminals, and so on; they were screening to some degree anyway. There would be home-grown lunatics quite soon enough, there was no need to send any.

Unfortunately for the authorities peace of mind… even casual estimates on how many people would be leaving were fairly high – and the staff had no objection to simply giving pickpockets, shoplifters, and so on a bit of re-education and a fresh start!

Of course in actual war zones… things were going to be a bit trickier. As well as in the places where unwanted people were being dumped, or there was fighting over the gates, or oppressed populations wanted to escape, and so on. Charles would have them cared for of course – but the politics was going to be a lot tricker than he had hoped! The turmoil was already starting in the middle east and elsewhere as oppressed minorities, refugees, and similar groups were exiled, evacuated, or taking refuge through the gates! (Including many of the crazier folk from the middle east whom Leon hadn’t gotten to yet… He hadn’t cared if he had to transform 80% of the population. He was going to have a sane population that was willing to accept magic, the fey, and being ruled by a god-king or he would know the reason why! There had been insurgencies, ISIS, and maniacs everywhere!)

Meanwhile, back in Aden… that Raksha lady – Nimue’ – was back! She had returned to the Mardi Gras manse ans was waiting for him – and she HAD done him a favor, so it was only fair to find out what she wanted!

(Nimue’) “Ah, it is you, Aden? Your work was successful?”

(Charles) “So far anyway! It is nice to see you of course!”

(Nimue’) “I am glad! And I am glad to see you! Now, we must discuss our marriage!”

(Charles, with considerable alarm) “Uhrm?!?!?!”

He ran a quick check! He didn’t remember agreeing to get married!

No… no he HADN’T.

So why…

(Charles doubtfully) “I don’t really recall proposing… why do you want to get married?”

(Nimue’) “I must keep you from marrying the Celestial Plain! I have eyes only for you!”

(Charles) “Uhm… I really wasn’t planning to get married any time soon!” (By, of course, a kids notion of “soon”).

Oh geez! Had she seriously fixated on HIM? It kind of looked like it! AND she thought that Yu-Shan was the competition!

He consulted Malinda!

(Malinda) “Dearie? I think you’ve gotten caught up in her narrative! She might want to marry you and become a part of your nature.”

(Charles, planatively) “But I already have lots of chaos in my nature… I don’t see how she could add herself to it though!”

(Malinda) “You DO have many, many Graces that would be suitable for making regions of a freehold! Maybe she thinks she can become a part of you that way?”

(Charles) “But… they’re bonded to the poles!

Well, their narrative shaped everything about them and what wents on around them. He tried to figure out what it was with observation and passive detection!

It looked like… she was fascinated by, or fixated on, HIM – and was carefully scrutinizing him for any flaws (and not really finding many). She… “knew” (believed?) that he was a Primordial, and was also performing a careful study of the environment, and trying to figure out ways to turn him even more to the Wyld’s service. Basically… she wanted to be an associate, with a formal bond to make sure that she got listened to and protected. And if that let her influence him further towards chaos (however unlikely that was), that would be a bonus! And if she could show up another Primordial, all the better.

Charles didn’t really think that Yu-Shan even understood that idea, much less had such a plan – the primordials were pretty firmly in “sufficient unto themselves” territory – but he supposed that it was possible! Besides… no one ever said Raksha were rational.

Well, a formal connection to a Raksha would have downsides, but would something like oath-friendship or an advisory position be sufficient? Because he was much too young to get married! Even if she was pretty set on it!

He let her know that some form of courtship agreement was as far as he would go at the moment – but that he was perfectly willing to confirm that he had no intention of “Marrying” Yu-Shan! (She was busy with her own stuff at the moment anyway!).

And that satisfied Nimue’… for now.