Marvel Super Heroes – Darkwolf

   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.

   Darkwolf

Alien Lupinoid Hero

   Capsule History:

   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.

   Species Notes:

   General Description:

   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.

   Physiology:

   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.

   Standard Attributes:

   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.

   Culture:

   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.

   Attributes:

Fighting 30 Remarkable
Agility 100 Unearthly
Strength 20 Excellent
Endurance 30 Remarkable
Reason 90 Unearthly
Intuition 75 Monstrous
Psyche 50 Amazing
Health 180  
Base Karma 215  
Resources 30 Remarkable
Popularity 112 Unearthly

 

Height 5 feet, 4 inches
Weight 126 pounds
Hair/Eyes Rust / Green
Age 36 years, no longer aging appreciably.
Real Name Kear (Professor) Zaer Risoung
Occupation Chemical Supplier, Researcher, Inventor, Hero
Identity Publicly Known.
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
Known Relatives None.
Group Affiliation Knights-Errant.
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.

   Known Powers:

   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:

Power Value Rank
Berserker (1) 100 Un
Darkforce Manipulation 50 Am
Disintegration 20 Ex
Illusion Casting 40 In
Light Control 30 Rm
Light Emission (2) 100 Un
Molecular Creation 20 Ex
Pheromones (1) 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;

Hyper-Intelligence 50 Am
Iron Will 75 Mn
Total Memory Unknown

   Physical Powers: As a lupinoid he has a few innate physical powers ;

Hypersensetive Olfactory 20 Ex
Claws and Teeth (Edged att) 4 Pr

   Power Stunts:

  • 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.

   Equipment:

   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.

    Combat Stave(s):

   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.

   Contacts:

   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.

The Well-Dressed Hero

   With the exception of James Bond and (to some extent) Stargate SG1, most of the metahumans, star travelers, secret agents, and other high-tech heroes that you see running around in comics, movies, and television series, seem to make a habit of battling terrible foes, visiting strange planets, and strolling into unknown (but generally awful) situations in ordinary clothing, and without much in the way of equipment.

   Why do they do that when they could just as readily wear, at a minimum, some light tailored body armor, carry a few useful gadgets, and have a much better chance of coming back?

   Darkwolf concluded that it was just because they didn’t know a good tailor.

   Being a superhumanly brilliant scientist-engineer, he created an automated tailoring system for his superhero team, the Knight-Errants – and added a bunch of useful options to their costumes to help out a bit.

   Those Marvel Super Hero costumes proved so popular that versions (usually labeled “Smartclothes”) have wandered over into Champions, Rifts, d20, Aberrant, Trinity, and several other game systems over the ensuing years.

   Since I’ve recently been reminded of those long-ago games, here we have the…

   Knight-Errant Costumes:

   Standard Knight-Errant costumes are computer-tailored according to the specifications provided by the systems user and normally include three special functions, two kits, and four minor devices as chosen by the wearer / designer as well as the standard-issue Transceiver and Auto-medpack. Please note that the tailoring programs are set to conform to accepted standards of public decency; if you wish to disable this feature select “private wardrobe” on the main menu, please don’t hack the system.

Special Functions: Kits: Minor Devices:
Bio-enhancement Artists Kit Binoculars
Body Armor Chemical Testkit Blade
Chameleon Web Civilian Clothing Flechette Gun
Converter/Projector Criminology Kit Linecaster
Holographic Imager Disguise Lockpicks
Mask Electronics Tools LR Transceiver
Microcomputer Escape Kit Oxygen Mask
NBC Seal Espionage Kit Pocket Parachute
Optical Scan First Aid Kit Pocket Torch
Power Adaption Magicians Kit Penlight
Power Nullifier Multiscanner Sewing kit
Psi-screen Photographers Kit Spray Tube
Remote Modem Pocket Computer Stimpills
Repulsion Field Pocket Toolkit Super glue
Sensor Web Restraint Kit Swiss Army Knife
Skintight Survival Pack Towel
Tactical Display Thieves Kit Translator
Wrist Blasters Weapons Pack Wire Saw

   Special Functions:

  • Bioenhancement: These systems are designed to improve (really) lousy attributes. Sadly, they can only boost one attribute (Agility, Strength, or Endurance), the improvement is only two ranks (to a maximum of “excellent”), and the attribute it helps must be selected when the costume is designed. This can be taken twice – if a character is that badly off.
  • Body Armor: Offers good (10) protection from physical attacks and excellent (20) protection against energy damage, including heat and cold. This can be upgraded to the remarkable (30) level if the user doesn’t mind wearing obvious armor.
  • Chameleon Web: Lets the user alter the color(s) and/or details of the costume. While this is normally limited to a dozen or so preprogrammed selections, adding the micro-computer system lets you program “on the fly” or set it to “merge” with the background. This isn’t invisibility, but it is roughly equivalent to “good” stealth.
  • Converter/Projector: This system must be tailored to the user, since it is designed to extend the range of his or her powers. In essence, it generates a beam which acts as a “carrier” for one of the users energy-based powers with a range of about three areas. The converter function may come into play if the user lacks an appropriate power. In this case, the unit can be set to convert energy from another ability into physical form. In all cases, both the input and the output forces must be specified in advance.
  • Holographic Imager: Due to the amount of data storage and processing power required, this can project a maximum of two preset images, usually a civilian identity and the “hero in costume”. It’s often used by those with blatantly nonhuman appearances or those who want to conceal both their “heroic” and civilian identities.
  • Mask: A circuitry web that conceals the wearers paranormal abilities – within limits. Any which involve gross physical modifications (Look kid, you turn into a dragon. It can’t hide that.), “noisy” external manifestations (It will hide your ability to throw lightning bolts madam – but the attacks are kinda obvious.), or which are at or above the “unearthly” rank (Look, Galactus baby, stealth is not your thing, kapeesh?), can only be partially concealed at best. Within these restrictions, it is fairly reliable at deflecting technological scans, making the wearer “look” like a baseline human. It is less reliable against superhuman abilities and ineffective against magic.
  • Microcomputer: Acts as chronometer, calculator, mini-recorder, and pocket secretary. It is capable of running a fair selection of programs (including video games), but has relatively limited memory space. It is most useful in conjunction with additional microelectronic systems.
  • NBC Seal: This “system” requires the use of an oxygen mask to be fully effective, but can be handy without one. The costume is impervious or resistant to most chemicals, microorganisms, and moderate levels of nuclear radiation. Where relevant, this is equivalent to Rm/Ex/Gd protection, increased to In/Am/Ex with an oxygen mask.
  • Optical Scan: This straightforward visual enhancement circuit can only be used on a costume which includes some form of mask, but is otherwise simple enough. It supplies “good” IR and UV vision, as well as providing “excellent” protection from visual and sonic attacks.
  • Power Adaption: The classic “unstable molecules” bit, wherein the costume adapts to any weird powers its wearer possesses. This counts as a system since it makes it much harder to incorporate other items.
  • Power Nullifier: This is usually reserved for people with uncontrollable powers – but anyone can have it if they really want it. The circuit is individually tuned, and will have no effect on anyone else. It can be overridden by a strong, conscious, effort to use your power(s), or simply switched on and off.
  • Psiscreen: A basic electronic psiscreen, providing Ex protection from mental attacks. It cannot be expanded to protect an area, but is otherwise identical to the power.
  • Remote Modem: Unlike the version which comes with the microcomputer, this is an advanced gadget capable of high-speed data transmissions, linking into electronic systems within one area, and maintaining a simultaneous link with a remote “friendly” mainframe and local system. It’s a good way to tap computer systems, get quick readouts of public information, and get some help from your friendly “local” hacker back at home. Breaking computer security or almost any circuit override requires a reason FEAT roll, normally at -3 CS, -1 CS if using a pocket computer instead of the microcomputer listed above.
  • Repulsion Field: This circuit generates a low-powered electrostatic “force field”, channeled through the fibers of the costumes outer fabric. In practice, this makes the user extremely “slippery”, giving the user a +3 CS on any attempt to escape from being grappled or entangled. The field can be used offensively by increasing its intensity to the point of inflicting good electrical damage to anyone touching the user.
  • Sensor Web: This system includes the powers of energy detection, environmental awareness, and life detection, if in a limited form and at only “typical” rank. Analysis is possible – but the user must ask specific, and relatively simple, questions, at a rate of two per round. The system will trigger an automatic warning of dangerous conditions (high radiation levels, airborne toxins, and so on) – but otherwise must be consciously directed.
  • Skintight Another classic. “Costumes” tailored using this “system” are those minimalist, clinging, things with no visible means of support, body stockings, and so on. All of these should, by rights, get shredded in fights, offer less pocket space then swimming trunks, make their wearer look ridiculous if he/she is half a pound over- or under- weight, pinch, only look good on professional models, and take several people to get on and off – but the tailoring program manages somehow. It does, however, complicate its job enough to make it harder to incorporate other items.
  • Tactical Display: This electronic package operates as an inertial locater, map display, and monitor. It “picks up” sizable living things, major energy sources, walls, and so on, within two areas with “excellent” ability – but is generally incapable of fine discrimination. As a rule, it displays local structures (blue), “friendly” (transceiver coded) life forms (green), “threatening” (displaying major abilities, size, weaponry, or power armor), living things (red), and “other” life forms (yellow), and major machinery or energy sources (white). Sadly, all this useful data comes in the form of little colored dots on a sketchy map. The overall effect in combat is a +1CS (“amazing” maximum) on the users intuition. Outside combat, it’s mostly good for finding things.
  • Wrist Blasters: These are designed for the occasional “trained normal” hero, the people with lots of skills but no actual powers beyond decent attributes. These gadgets are tuned to the users individual bioenergy fields, which they amplify and project as electrical or concussive bolts. Such attacks have a range of two areas and inflict damage of up to the users endurance rank. Due to their link with the users personal energies, such blasters can be used to develop power stunts. The wristlets also contain some six other small compartments which may be used for additional weaponry, devices, or gear.

   Pocket Kits:

  • Artists Kit: This kit contains paper, pencils, pens, packets of paint, brushes, pastels, or whatever else the user decides to put in. The “standard” high-tech variant includes paper, a multi-pigment wand with a great variety of tips, fixative spray, a laser microscriber, an adjustable pencil, a paper processor, and various refills / minor devices. With practice, this kit can be substituted for a wide variety of other artists gear with superior results. With a few modifications this package can also be used to forge documents at (Agility + 1CS).
  • Chemical Testkit: A selection of instruments, probes, testing chemicals, analyzers, and a microcomputer, allowing the user to analyze chemical traces, run comparisons, and check for contaminants, as well as whatever else the user can talk the GM into. Sadly, this is not a mad scientists laboratory – the user is subject to a -5CS when trying to use the kit for purposes other than running tests.
  • Civilian Clothing: This is not so much a kit as it is an alternative, an especially-designed and manufactured set of clothing which can be readily packed into an extremely small space – without becoming unwearable. It’s handy to have if something nasty happens to somebody’s costume, but is more often used by those with tight schedules (or busy social lives).
  • Criminology Kit: A “pocket detectives” kit, including a selection of small items to help analyze and preserve any physical evidence. It includes specimen vials, tweezers, fingerprint powder, a magnifying glass, a DNA “analyzer”, thermometer, voice printer, ballistics analysis, jewelers loupe, spray-on plastic foam (for making casts), a simple camera and film, mini-recorder, sketching materials, stopwatch, a “sniffer” wand (detects traces of several common chemicals used in arson, explosives, gunpowder residue, and so on), a halogen flashlight, and a blood typer.
  • Disguise Kit: This is essentially a high-tech variant on the classical stage makeup chest, the major difference being that it only comes off using solvent. Other, minor, improvements include “natural” feel, adjustable color(s), improved hair dyes, a microcomputer mirror which supplies directions, colored contact lenses, and so on. Disguises applied using this kit are usually of the Ex or Rm ranks, but this can be modified by the users personal talents.
  • Electronics Toolkit: Contains a variety of miniature tools and components needed for electrical/electronic work, including a; mini-laser cutter/soldering iron, multi-meter, frequency generator, mini-oscilloscope, patchcords, wire, solder, watchmakers tools, chip puller, small pliers/wire strippers, razor, magnifier eyepiece, etcetera.
  • Escape Kit: This “kit” includes a selection of hidden devices built into the users costume as well as some more obvious items in a packet. A body search will reveal the packet, but the concealed items are likely to pass casual scrutiny. Between the lock picks, wire saw, explosive and/or corrosive pellets, electronic scrambler, and other items, the user should have a good (green reason FEAT) chance at escaping from imprisonment, even barring the use of other equipment or powers.
  • Espionage Kit: A kit sure to delight the heart of any junior spy, including a selection of tracers, bugs, wire- taps, and contact microphones, tempest monitor, telephone scrambler, mini-camera, parabolic microphone, bug detector and jammer, white noise generator, knock-out drops, tracing powder and detector, mini-laser drill/microphone, RF tracer, voice mask, needle launcher, and sodium pentothal. All of this stuff fits neatly into a small pocket kit – possible only because such gear is tiny to begin with.
  • First Aid Kit: Despite high-tech, miniaturization, and user-friendly design, this is still only a pocket kit. It is useful to a physician (+1CS), and lets almost anyone use the equivalent of the “first aid” talent, but simply does not contain the necessary supplies, tools, and drugs needed for major interventions. The “advanced” version does, but counts as a second kit. The “advanced” kit should only be employed by those with good medical skills, as the drugs, instruments, antitoxins, and implements, it contains can be quite dangerous in unskilled hands. Applied correctly, it allows an extra “recovery” each day, lets the user roll a reason FEAT roll to counter toxins and diseases, and so on. All such rolls include the +1CS from the basic kit.
  • Magicians Kit: The contents of this “kit” are usually specified by the user, but the “generic” version contains such “common” ritual items as; chalk, herbs, soft candles (usable as either candles or a supply of wax), an incense burner, tarot cards, oil, a shallow dish, a silver blade, string, a pendulum bob, some rock salt, a silk cloth, and a variety of other minor supplies. None of this stuff is of any real use in higher sorcery – but it will allow the user to work a wide variety of minor ritual magics (Fb to Typ effects) and is of minor utility (+3% on the roll) in more important ritual undertakings.
  • Multiscanner: This kit is actually a calculator-sized instrument package able, in skilled hands, to duplicate a wide variety of detection powers – notably; Energy and Life Detection, Environmental Awareness, and a limited version of Penetration Vision (only to determine internal structures of objects). These operate at three ranks below the users reason rank – reflecting the users ability to operate the unit and interpret the results. Skills will modify any required FEAT rolls but don’t alter the basic rank.
  • Photographers Kit: While this little kit does include a still camera and a tiny developing system, it’s primarily devoted to digital audiovisual recordings, suitable as-is for image enhancement and computer analysis. It includes a variety of telephoto, wide-angle, and exotic lenses, as well as a tiny color printer. It is even capable of low-light, thermal-, micro-, and underwater photography. This is all stored on non-volatile memory chips, allowing a total of about 48 hours worth of recorded material.
  • Pocket Computer: About the size of a common paperback book, this device is a high-powered personal computer and pocket secretary. It’s only real problem is that the keyboard is too small for easy manipulation. In game terms, it has Gd reason, Ex material strength, a cellular link / modem, and almost unlimited optical / holographic memory. It is often combined with the remote modem system (Q.V.) as the range and power of its internal transmitter is severely limited. It can also be linked with the usual transceiver or the microcomputer system, allowing the user to call up special functions without bothering to get it out.
  • Pocket Toolkit: Contains a selection of small tools, suitable for a wide variety of minor mechanical repairs and tinkering. The assortment includes a set of “watchmakers” tools, a laser torch, an adjustable wrench, small pliers, sonic cleanser, a mini-drill (with various attachments), a jewelers lope, files, screwdrivers, and a memory metal bar (usable as a prybar, hammer, axe, saw, wrench handle, and several other tools) as well as a small assortment of other small tools and supplies. While a poor substitute for a full-sized tool chest, this is far better than nothing.
  • Restraint Kit: This kit contains a variety of devices designed to restrain people. It includes several sets of handcuffs (Mn material), knock-out drugs (relatively slow acting, but of Am effectiveness, duration of about twelve hours), inhibitor and nullifier bands, a blindfold, some duct tape, and a gag.
  • Survival Pack: Nutrient tablets, two “space blankets” (also usable as tarps or sleeping bags), distress beacon, signal mirror, wire saw, pen-type flare launcher (and six flares), full condenser/heater flask, water purification, stimulant, salt, and pyroconcentrate tablets, fishhooks and line, lighter, compass (cover acts as a magnifying lens), penlight, cord (500 Lb test), 12 pencil-sized steel pegs, gloves, sunglasses, sewing packet, survival manual, three filter straws, monocular, a memory-metal bar (usable as a hammer, axe, small shovel, knife, saw, .22 rifle barrel and stock), 50 cartridges, and the .22 firing mechanism. The lid functions as a small, collapsible, cooking pot. This should suffice for forty-eight hours of so even under arctic conditions, for considerable periods in more benign environments.
  • Thieves Kit: This is a kit to delight the larcenous, containing a sophisticated selection of; lockpicks, alarm detectors, electronic jammers, beam diverters, safecracking gadgets, a microlaser drill, climbing gear, miniature tools, jumper lines, a small prybar, some plastique and a detonator, a powerful magnet, a penlight, a glass cutter, superglue, gloves (monogram optional), IR goggles, twelve drugged darts (In intensity knockout drug), and a variety of other small devices.
  • Weapons Pack: This “kit” includes a set of concealed weapons permits, as well as a variety of weapons. The mix includes a set of sixteen Mini-grenades (2 each; tear gas, knockout gas, smoke, flare, incendiary, concussion, fragmentation, and entangling. These affect a 20 foot radius and have “incredible” effectiveness unless otherwise specified), a set of filter noseplugs, two Knives, a Blaster Pistol (Rm (30) damage, energy/force), a Garotte Reel, a Hand Flamer (3 shots, 30 foot range, single target – otherwise as per standard flamethrower), Karatends (“Gloves” which stiffen on impact, Rm material strength, treat as blunt weapon in HTH), and seven Shuriken or Magnabolos (In entanglement). Those who don’t want to be walking arsenals need not take the entire package.

   Other pocket kits can be included on request, but must be designed and specified by the user.

   Minor Devices:

   The various “minor devices” are metal cylinders, about the size of a penlight or small flashlight. The Flechette gun is usually an exception to the rule, as a cylindrical version is a bit clumsy to handle. The list is not exhaustive, but should cover most requests.

  • Binoculars: A high-quality set of optical binoculars, with a variety of magnification settings from 20 to 200x. Variations are available for those characters with exotic visual senses. The monocular version also functions as a magnifier/microscope, with a similar magnification range.
  • Blade: Since these are made of “memory” material, the exact form is irrelevant. Great sword, scimitar, dagger, kris, spear, nunchaku, or whatever, as the costumes user/ designer desires. All have monstrous material strength and collapse into the standard metal cylinder form. Permanent versions are available. These are designed to conduct any applicable power that the user possesses.
  • Flechette Gun: This pistol fires razor-sharp, teflon-coated, “darts” rather than bullets. While these inflict no real damage, they ignore the first 20 points of armor. Drugged darts carry a remarkable intensity knockout drug, while explosive darts inflict remarkable damage. The gun has two twelve-shot magazines and a three area range. The user may switch between magazines at will. This weapon is virtually silent, although the explosive darts are noisy.
  • Linecaster: A linecaster “spins” a monofilament line from fast-polymerizing chemicals with a reaction pressure capable of hurling the resulting line a hundred feet. Due to incomplete boundary polymerization, the resulting line is extremely “sticky” for several seconds afterwards. The line has excellent material strength and is often used to tie things together, swing from, climb, snatch things, or tie people up.
  • Lockpicks: This “gadget” contains a modest selection of tools for opening locks and other small tasks. It is not a substitute for a full toolkit and isn’t very versatile, but it is a lot better than a bent paperclip.
  • Long Range Transceiver: This module is designed to be used in conjunction with the costumes standard transceiver links, but can be used alone. It extends the usual 25-mile range of the standard links to 2500 miles (or more if satellite relaying is available).
  • Oxygen Mask: A simple pull-out mask and oxygen flask, capable of supplying oxygen for 30 minutes of activity or several hours of quiet. Combined with an armored costume (Q.V.) it lets the user function under space conditions and provides excellent defenses against biological and chemical “attacks”.
  • Pocket Parachute: This one-shot gadget is the perfect present for people who are afraid of heights. While it’s far too thin and filmy to repack, it will reduce the damage from a fall to the “typical” level – or to none at all if an agility FEAT succeeds. It is normally triggered by the user, but automatic versions are available for the really worried.
  • Pocket Torch: Depending on how you adjust this handy gadget, it can serve as a; lighter (Fb), handwarmer (Pr), torch (Typ), flare (Gd), fire-blade (Ex), blowtorch (Rm), welding torch (In), or bomb (Am). Since intensities above Ex are achieved by tightening the “focus”, only the fire- blade is really suitable as a weapon. Using it as a bomb is an exception, but is obviously a once-off.
  • Penlight: A sophisticated flashlight, with adjustable intensity and dispersion. Maximum intensity is incredible, maximum range is four areas. It can also be triggered in “strobe mode”, generating a flash of amazing intensity, or set to project infra-red or ultra-violet light.
  • Sewing Kit: A small canister holding needles, thread, patches, safety pins, adhesive, velcro, and any other minor supplies needed to make basic repairs on costumes. One of those handy items which can really save embarrassment.
  • Spray Tube: These tubes project a high-pressure spray of whatever the user had them loaded with. They normally contain enough paint/extinguishing foam/lubricant/foaming paste/glue/entangling strands/whatever to coat three man-sized targets.
  • Stimpills: Are simply powerful stimulants, most often used to keep awake. A tablet every eight to twelve hours will keep the user awake and alert for anything up to six straight days – although he’s likely to sleep for sixteen hours afterwards. A three-tablet dose increases the users FASE attributes by one rank each (Un. maximum) for around half an hour, after which the user suffers the loss of an endurance rank which must be healed normally. Doses above this level are obviously possible – but their effects are determined by the GM.
  • Superglue: Fairly straightforward, this stuff can be sprayed, smeared, dripped, or otherwise applied, to stick things together with incredible strength. Fortunately for the users, this gadget also includes a supply of solvent.
  • Swiss Army Knife: The large economy size, high-tech, version, perhaps, but still the same idea. Lots of basic, simple, tools packed into a small space.
  • Towel: Equally appropriate for the character who has everything and the one who has nothing, a towel may (or may not) be the most useful thing ever invented. Why, or why not, is up to the game masters sense of humor…
  • Translator: Unlike the “universal translators” listed in the players handbook, these can only handle six preset languages. While they have a fair vocabulary, specialized terms may not be in the database, and occasional mistakes may occur. They are normally linked with the transceiver system, since otherwise you have to get out the earplug and throat-contact microphone.
  • Wire Saw: This is made of monstrous material, and is effective against materials of up to amazing strength. It may take quite a while, but it will work. It can also be used as a whip, garrote, cable, restraint, or whatever.

   All Knight-Errant costumes also included a transceiver link and an auto-medpack.

  • The Transceiver Link acts as a communications link, as an emergency beacon, and as a locater. A small module with identical functions is issued for all members to carry in “civilian” identities for emergencies on either end. The link is scrambled at the remarkable rank, mainly to avoid simple listening-in.
  • The Auto-Medpack monitors the users physical condition and vital signs, applying any necessary medication from its internal supplies. On its own, it has the equivalent of Ex medical skills and competently tracks and treats such ongoing conditions as diabetes and allergies. Other medications, such as minor stimulants, are available on demand. The auto-medpack is usually tied to the costumes transceiver link, allowing the “team leader” to track his teammates current condition. The system will sound an alarm and transmit an emergency signal if the users life signs indicate serious injuries.

   Hm… That twenty-five year old file has held up surprisingly well – although in some cases that’s because the capabilities of various electronic items are noted in game terms rather than in actual technical terms.

ShadowGuard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire: Minor Hero

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

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

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

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

Known Powers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   Contacts: Assorted fellow hackers, the European Fusion Consortium.

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

Adventure links:

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

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

 

Ley Fey, Minor Heroine

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

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

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

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

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

Known Powers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance, Equestrian Hobbyists.

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

Adventure links:

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

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

 

Whisper, Minor Heroine

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

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

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

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

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

Known Powers:

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

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

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

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

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

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance, the Kojima Clan.

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

Adventure links:

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

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

 

Cheshire, Trainee Hero

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

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

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

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

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

Known Powers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance, The French Underworld.

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

Adventure Links:

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

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

 

Shillelagh, Minor Hero

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

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

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

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

Known Powers:

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

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

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

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

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

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance

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

Adventure links:

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

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

 

Flux, Trainee Hero

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

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

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

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

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

Known Powers:

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

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

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

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

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

Adventure links:

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

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

 

   And now, a bonus character… 

“The Toad”

   Troublemaking child sorcerer and would-be hero.

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

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

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

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

Known Powers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adventure links

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

Dark Futures

   First up for today, here’s a Dark Future 2053 setting. It was originally for Marvel Super Heroes but, like most setting background material, is actually fairly system-free.

   Now, the Major Characters for that setting are not so system-free, but they do include quite a lot more background information.

Kriegspeil

   Well, first up for today are Kriegspeil and Kalrith – a Centaur and his Dragon, along with their world and species histories.

A Base of Operations

   For today we have another bit for the Marvel Super Heroes game – a collection of additional packages for designing bases.

   There may or may not be anything else up today: it depends on how late the game runs.