Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

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That Sullivan Guy
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:26 pm

Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 8:37 pm

This material was originally going to be submitted to a fanzine some people I know were talking about putting together. The discussion with them, combined with the release of the Time Traveler's Codex, inspired me to dust off the background character I created for the color background text in my "Freedom by Gaslight" chapter from Worlds of Freedom and write the article below.

I'm weird like that, among other ways.

Anywho, like many such fanzines and many such discussions, the proposed super rpg fanzine is apparently going to be vaporware (or whatever the fanzine version of that is). However, I had already finished putting together the now nomadic article. In retrospect, this is probably for the best as the material from Worlds of Freedom *is* GR's IP and even in a free publication I would have had to talk to GR and Crystal to get their permission and such and I really don't feel like going through all that. The article's inspiration and writing aside, I'm pretty much out of the industry and don't want to do anything in any formal context with GR or any other company and its representatives. Been there, done that, have the scars and the bad memories to show for it.

I do hate seeing work rot away in the digital ether of my computer instead of sharing it though. That being the case, I will be using this forum as a landing pad for the material. I'll break the article apart into constituent posts for ease of reference.

Why here? Because I lurk hereabouts with some frequency and enjoy the work of the people who post here: there's excitement for the game, creative energies shown in a dozen different threads, and the back-and-forth of differing ideas and opinions being bandied about and discussed in interesting ways. I love me some colorful discussion on nerdly topics, as long as it doesn't degenerate into Troll Farm territory (which the admin keeps from happening here).

Ronin Army's forums, conversely and IMO, has all the creativity and energy of the underwear aisle at K-Mart round about 2 AM, coupled with the constant concern that a wrong word or the hint of discontent will see the entire forum dustbinned or at a minimum see the board's participants harangued at length with the threat of such; I only skim there on occasion to see if there are any official announcements I may or may not be interested in.

And RPG.Net is a virulent cesspool I've avoided for years. Shudder.



<>Admin<> if this is the wrong place for this material, just let me know and I'll move it.

That Sullivan Guy
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:26 pm

Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 8:54 pm

Freedom by Gaslight
(Third Edition Character Conversions)


Ye Olde Explanatory Notes
In 2008, Green Ronin published Worlds of Freedom for their Mutants & Masterminds (2nd edition) game, a book devoted to detailing times past and future from the current era as well as alternate worlds all as they related to GR’s Freedom City setting (or what would later simply be referenced as “Earth-Prime”). Steve Kenson, creator of the game and at that time the developer for the game line, asked if I would be interested in writing some of the book’s material. I had previously written the lion’s share of a couple of 3rd party books for the game’s new edition and immediately prior to Steve’s inquiry had just started to do freelance work for Green Ronin proper by contributing to their Paragons book.

Upon my enthusiastically positive reply to his tentative proposal, Steve then assigned me the chapter devoted to the late 19th century, the post Wild West period responsible for assorted Victoriana, the roots of the Steampunk subgenre, and a whole raft of dime-novel proto-pulp that would inspire, among other things, countless later comic book stories and characters. He also assigned me a smaller section of the alternate worlds chapter, the “Fantasy Freedom” material … but that’s a subject for a different article.

One of my more glaring weaknesses as a designer and writer is my shameless tendency to completely blow past my assigned word counts – a weakness Steve and later Jon would graciously try to overlook – and “Freedom by Gaslight,” the chapter we’re talking about here, was no exception.

As I had already broken my assigned word count ceiling concentrating solely on the background primer and character creation support and suggestions text, even before getting to the expected character archetypes, I thought also including the NPC stats for the characters I introduced in the “Prophet’s Crusade” flavor text would push past even Steve’s point of flexibility; therefore, I included them in a separate email saying something along the lines of “if you have space and interest…” or words to that effect. As fate would have it, Steve (and presumably Hal Mangold, GR’s Master of Layout Magic) apparently did not in fact have the space for Prophet and his crew’s stats. Steve instead had to make do with suggesting in the archetypes’ intro the closest of the included archetypes that could substitute for these NPCs. Such is life in the world of game book design.

Years passed with those stats wasting away in the digital ether, years in which another edition of Mutants & Masterminds was eventually published, and recently (to the writing of this article, anyway) Green Ronin finally published another book referencing that era and its characters, namely The Time Traveler’s Codex. Inspired by this opportunity, I have figuratively put pen to paper once again and herein included the reader will find the 3rd edition M&M stats for the worthies introduced in that now antique chapter. For further elucidation, also included is quite a bit of backstory that never made it into the final published text as well as the eventual fates of said characters (at least in my headcanon … as the owners of the IPs, Green Ronin, in the person of the current or some future line developer, might very well decide differently in some future product).

Also, and at absolutely no extra cost to you, gentle readers, I include the details for the (sometimes obvious) inspirations behind each of them.


A Bit of History
While it is common knowledge that H.G. Wells published his seminal work The Time Machine in 1895, what isn’t publicly known to population of Earth-Prime is that he based his work on the notes left behind by the eccentric Dr. Ripley Warren years earlier. Wells eventually came into possession of those notes through the auspices of a mutual friend of his and Warren’s, a friend, though unnamed, who Wells immortalized as the narrator of the story. As far as Wells knew, the story ended with those notes and his fictionalization of their accounts.

He was mistaken.

Warren did indeed attempt to settle with the Eloi, to teach them to rebuild some semblance of civilization, and to start a family with his beloved Weena. Through one of the humorous twists of temporal fate, he eventually even ran across a still-existing copy of The Time Machine during one of his forays into the ruins of previous epochs and was amazed it was made of a material that had seemed to weather the countless millennia intact. Amused and flattered upon reading it, as he quickly deduced who the narrator was (and as he remembered Wells from their social circle), Warren convinced Weena to name their twin sons Herbert and George as some small show of gratitude to the chronicler of Warren’s great adventure. He taught his sons all he knew as they grew to adulthood, including the science behind his Chronotraversal Engine. At some point during this peaceful surface interlude, a mutant arose to a leadership position among the surviving Morlock population, a sadistic telepath whose name translates closest into English as “Hunts-With-Claws-Unseen.”

Capturing George Warren when the young man made the fatal error of wandering alone among the ruins his father frequented, this Morlock leader telepathically interrogated and tortured his captive until George eventually died under the strain, but not before his captor learned everything George had known about his father and, more importantly, his father’s time machine. Hunts-With-Claws-Unseen led his small force against the more numerous Eloi in what he knew was, for his followers at least, a suicide mission. While his men died upon the Eloi’s defenses (designed and fortified over time by Ripley), he used the distraction to make his way to where the machine was hidden and used it to escape into the past. His goal was to travel to Warren’s originating era and, as revenge for the losses Warren had inflicted on the Morlocks, sow chaos and death among Warren’s own tribe. He arrived in the ruins of Warren’s home, lost sometime after Warren’s departure to the future thanks to a fire caused by a lightning-strike in its owner’s absence.

What the Morlock had not anticipated was the sheer size of the population, staggering and mind-boggling to his own limited experiences with the less numerous Eloi, and the comparatively highly advanced technological and cultural state of his surroundings. Young George had never been to his father’s home era and had heard only stories, all of which failed to convey the actual depth behind Ripley’s words.

Hunts-With-Claws-Unseen was not prepared for this, not at all.

Worse, as he wandered away from the time machine, it immediately returned to its creator, as young George had been unaware of a safety setting his father had installed and thus his interrogator had also had been oblivious to its existence. Hunts-With-Claws-Unseen was then trapped far from his home era, or that was his first impression anyway. He soon realized, however, that the people whose vulnerable minds surrounded him were no more an individual threat than those mewling Eloi had been. He could make them see him as one of them with his telepathic talents, pillaging their thoughts and memories and taking what information he needed from them at his leisure. And when his frustrations and occasional rages overtook him, these people bled and died as easily as all his previous victims.

One of his first victims in this new time period had been a German immigrant, a scullery maid who in her mind had been screaming of robbery in her native tongue – “raub” was the word she used. It was an interesting word and he liked the way it rolled around on his tongue. Morlock language was more guttural and composed of simple structures, not complex sounds, and he was enjoying all the new images and feelings he could express with the tongues used around him.

Hunts-With-Claws-Unseen decided he needed a new name for his new life. He also decided that if the title “doctor” was a badge of honor for his enemy, the reviled elder Warren, that it was one he too felt worthy of carrying. Thus, was “Doktor Raub” born. Next, he needed to learn more about his new home, the better to crush it beneath his conquering feet, and so he began to travel, taking what he needed from the pitiable cattle so blind to the new predator wandering among them. Moving from country to country, continent to continent, Raub left a trail of bodies in his wake, as well as the foundations for a hidden network he thought to put to later uses – with such a large and populous target as an entire world in his sights, after all, he knew he would need tools, proxies, and other catspaws to extend his grasp and see his nascent plans through to their fruition; useful “allies,” but after their purpose was served, quite disposable. In his arrogance, Raub underestimated more than one of these men, who he deemed “servants in all but the name;” this would prove costly later as several of them had the willpower to see through Raub’s illusions and the intellect to predict and counter his efforts.

Countless eons in the future, in the aftermath of that last terrible battle, the Warren family discovered the remains of young George in the Morlock caves. Ripley had been grievously wounded in the Morlock attack and was in no condition to track anyone back through time, little less someone as dangerous as Hunts-With-Claws-Unseen. The duty fell to Herbert, distraught but driven to avenge his brother and bring the culprit to justice.

Following his father’s instructions, Herbert made a number of small planned stops in the time stream on his way back to Victorian England, stops to gain information on what had transpired after his father had left. Further, the stops were also to gain other resources, material ones needed to finance what Ripley foresaw would be no simple task (especially now that he had finally deciphered coded notes scribbled in the marginalia of his extraordinary copy of Well’s book – notes written directly to him and in a cipher that required a knowledge of temporal mechanics and its underlying mathematics to decode).

Lastly, the stops were to research potential allies – Herbert, his father knew, was too much like his mother and her people, pacifists usually capable of violence only as a last desperate survival measure. Herbert would be committing suicide if thrown into direct confrontation with his quarry. No, such a fight needed those with skill at violence and to whom it was second nature, but who themselves would have the moral character to want Hunts-With-Claws-Unseen brought to justice and to be trusted with such an onerous task. That’s who Herbert had to find and recruit, and history made the first target for such efforts readily apparent in the person of the former Pale Ranger himself, Adam Prophet.

With Herbert Warren’s clandestine backing (and occasional mysterious pieces of valuable intelligence Prophet’s patron refused to discuss either origin nor provenance for), Adam Prophet had the help he needed to start what history would later call “Prophet’s Crusade.” Of course, once gathered, such a group was hardly limited to solely hunting Raub, not with so many other calamities and villains encountered along the way, but that’s simply the nature of such heroes after all.

NOTE:

Raub’s international reign of terror began shortly after his arrival in England which was itself keyed to the time machine returning to a point only a few months after Ripley Warren left his home era. This would have been the mid-to-late 1880s. As it would be almost a decade before Wells published his fictionalization of Warren’s notes, concepts such as a time-traveling Victorian gentleman and Morlocks were unknown to Adam and his crew.

Upon later reading Wells work, however, Emily figured out the answer to more than one question Herbert never answered to her satisfaction. It was she who made sure at least one copy of Well’s book was made of material designed to last eons, that it was safely hidden where Herbert’s father would find it, and that it contained notes that only Ripley would eventually be able to decipher that discussed the names of specific people to investigate and places Herbert would need to be sent before arriving in Emily’s own earlier years.

Yes, this is one of those tautological headaches that give many superheroes ample reason to hate time travel.

Game Stuff
GMs are obviously welcome to change members around, adding or deleting participants as needed to suit campaign requirements. Similarly, though this writer’s ideas for the eventual fates of each character is included under “Historical Disposition” following their write-ups, that information is also only a suggestion, as malleable or dismissible as anything else here the GM finds.

With the exception of Lady Violet, each of these characters is essentially an experienced pulp-level NPC (some very experienced). As for Violet herself, despite being the Master Mage of her time, scales of power differ markedly between genres and eras: if transposed to the modern era, Pennyworth (by PL, if not the experience represented by points) would “only” be on par with a standard mystical superhero type.
Last edited by That Sullivan Guy on Fri May 15, 2020 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

That Sullivan Guy
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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 9:01 pm

NAME: Adam Prophet
PL: 9
COST: Abilities 80 + Powers 12 + Advantages 36 + Skills 32 + Defenses 15 = 175 Total
ABILITIES: Strength 4, Stamina 4, Agility 5, Dexterity 5, Fighting 8, Intellect 4, Awareness 5, Presence 5
DEFENSE: Dodge 10, Parry 10, Fortitude 7, Toughness 8*/4 (*with Defensive Roll), Will 10
OFFENSE: Initiative +9, Guns + 13 ([Ranged, Damage 5 or less), Unarmed + 11 (Close, Damage 4 [or up to 7 with an improvised weapon])
SKILLS: Athletics 6 (+10), Deception 3 (+8), Expertise: Business 3 (+8), Expertise: Law 4 (+9), Handle Animal 3 (+8), Insight 5 (+10), Intimidation 3 (+8), Investigation 4 (+8), Perception 8 (+13), Persuasion 5 (+10), Ranged Combat: Guns 8 (+13), Ride 10 (+15), Stealth 1 (+6), Treatment 2 (+6)
ADVANTAGES: Accurate Attack, Benefit (Wealth 2), Close Attack 3, Connected, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 4, Equipment 4, Fascinate (Persuasion), Fearless, Great Endurance, Improved Aim, Improved Critical 2 (Guns), Improved Initiative, Improvised Weapon 2, Inspire 2, Language 3 (French, Navajo, Sioux, Spanish; English is native), Leadership, Precise Attack (Ranged, Concealment), Quick Draw, Seize Initiative, Tracking, Ultimate Aim

EQUIPMENT:
Colt .45 (Ranged Damage 4), Sharps .50 (Ranged Damage 5, Extended Range)

POWERS:
A Little Better’n Most: Leaping 1 (15 feet), Speed 1 (4 mph); Cost 2 PP
Eagle-Eyed: Senses 1 (Extended Vision); Cost 1 PP
Fannin’ The Hammer: Multiattack on up to Ranged Damage 4 (Limited to appropriate firearms descriptors); Cost 2 PP
Seen Too Much in My Time: Immunity 5 (Interaction Skills); Cost 5 PP
Trouble Ain’t Never Far Away: Senses 2 (Danger Sense, visual; Rapid Vision); Cost 2 PP

COMPLICATIONS:
I Was Brought Back for a Reason: Motivation (Responsibility)
My Word is My Bond: Quirk (Code of the West)
Retired the Mask, Not the Job: Identity (It’s not public knowledge yet that he was the Pale Ranger, but more than one old enemy is still gunning for him);
She Makes the Burden a Little Lighter: Relationship (In love with Emily Swift)

BACKGROUND:
Ever since the day Broken Crow put breath back in his lungs, Adam’s been a little stronger and a little faster than those around him. He’s an accomplished gunfighter, world-traveler, lawyer, and businessman, but one who’s capabilities and talents in a fight or as a lawman still put him on par (at least) with the pulp mystery-men yet to come. Add two decades worth of experience into the mix and he has few peers prior to the explosion of masked heroes during WWII.

HISTORICAL DISPOSITION:
Eventually, Adam married Miss Swift and in 1900 she gave him a son that would grow into a legend in his own right. Adam survived his wife by several years and finally succumbed to the rigors of age, dying on his ranch a few days after FDR was elected to the U.S. presidency.

INSPIRATION:
Prophet needed no additional inspiration as the character already existed in the Freedom City timeline. I merely added to the details.
Last edited by That Sullivan Guy on Fri May 15, 2020 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

That Sullivan Guy
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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 9:08 pm

NAME: Emily Swift
PL: 8
COST: Abilities 48 + Powers 32 + Advantages 21 + Skills 37 + Defenses 15 = 153 Total
ABILITIES: Strength 0, Stamina 2, Agility 2, Dexterity 3, Fighting 3, Intellect 7, Awareness 4, Presence 3
DEFENSE: Dodge 5, Parry 5, Fortitude 5, Toughness 2, Will 11
OFFENSE: Initiative +7, Club of Opportunity + 8 (Close, Damage 1 or 2 usually), Voltaic Discharge Pistol + 10 (Ranged, Damage 6 or Fortitude DC 16)
SKILLS: Athletics 4 (+4), Close Combat: Clubs of Opportunity 5 (+8), Deception 5 (+8/+10), Expertise: Art 6 (+13), Expertise: Science 8 (+15), Insight 5 (+12), Investigation 4 (+11), Perception 5 (+12), Persuasion 5 (+8/+10), Ranged Combat: Voltaic Discharge Pistol 5 (+8), Sleight of Hand 4 (+7), Stealth 4 (+6), Technology 11 (+18), Treatment 4 (+11), Vehicle 4 (+7)
ADVANTAGES: Attractive, Benefit (Wealth), Daze (Deception), Eidetic Memory, Equipment 3, Favored Foe (Male Chauvinists), Improved Defense, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Languages 3 (Ancient Greek, Classical Latin, French, German), Leadership, Redirect, Second Chance (Will Saves), Skill Mastery (Technology), Taunt, Ultimate Skill (Technology), Well-Informed

EQUIPMENT:
“Silver Cloud” Dirigible
Size: Colossal, Strength: 16, Speed: 4 (air, 30 MPH), Defense: –8, Toughness: 13, Features: Navigation System, Cost: 13 ep

POWERS:
Ahead of Her Time, And Then Some: Feature 2 (Can ignore up to -5 in penalties related to differences in tech levels when using Technology skill or related tasks); Cost 2 PP
Bag of Tricks: Variable 2 (Limited to Steampunk gadgets only; Slow) Cost 10 PP
Genius: Feature 3 (uses Intellect for Initiative instead of Agility, substitutes Intellect for Awareness when using Insight and Perception skills), Enhanced Advantage 5 (Luck 5, Limited to using only on rolls related to Technology or Inventing), Quickness 6 (Limited to Mental Tasks); Cost 9 PP
Voltaic Discharge Pistol: Easily Removable Ranged Damage 6 (Accurate; Alternate Effect: Ranged Affliction 6 (electricity; Resisted and Overcome by Fortitude; Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated)); Cost 11 PP

COMPLICATIONS:
Coke-Bottle Bottom Glasses: Disability (Tremendously Nearsighted; treat as visually Disabled for any visual task when she is without her glasses)
The Frailer Sex: Prejudice (Gender)
Moral Compass: Motivation (Doing Good)
You Infuriating Troglodyte!: Quirk (Intellectual Snobbery as a defense mechanism against misogyny and prejudice)

BACKGROUND:
Emily Swift was born into a family renowned for its members’ intellectual and technical prowess; despite being overshadowed by her relatives in the public eye due to being female, her intellect outstripped all of her male kin. She was forced to use male fronts and corporate cutouts just to sell many of her inventions. Working behind the scenes, she labored for social change tirelessly; sadly, however, history remembers her more for the tools she put in the hands of various adventuring types she occasionally aided throughout the era rather than her own triumphs against numerous scoundrels, villains, and monsters.

HISTORICAL DISPOSITION:
Emily Swift Prophet continued throughout the rest of her life to work behind the carefully contrived fronts of numerous companies and men of lesser intellects (but negotiable ethics) in order to see her work reach the masses in spite of society’s prejudice against her gender. Many of her inventions, however, she buried away over time (or never developed beyond the planning and theoretical stage) for fear of potential misuse or abuse by others; for one example, she astounded Herbert by reverse-engineering his father’s technology from first principles, but to his or her husband’s knowledge, she never pursued the matter past theory and mathematics.

The birth of her son was hard on her and the complications involved not only saw to it that he remained an only child but also had far reaching impacts on Emily’s health in general, leaving her weakened enough that she seriously curtailed her travels and activities in the early 20th century. She passed away in 1919 from pneumonia after contracting the Spanish Influenza.

INSPIRATION:
The character of Emily Swift was inspired by Frank Reade and any number of other Edisonade protagonists of the late 19th century, though the appearance I outlined in the art order obviously pays homage to Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Agatha Heterodyne, heroine of their Girl Genius stories.
Last edited by That Sullivan Guy on Fri May 15, 2020 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

That Sullivan Guy
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:26 pm

Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 9:18 pm

NAME: Garret Gaunt
PL: 8
COST: Abilities 72 + Powers 23 + Advantages 21 + Skills 35 + Defenses 15 = 166 Total
ABILITIES: Strength 4, Stamina 4, Agility 4, Dexterity 6, Fighting 8, Intellect 2, Awareness 5, Presence 3
DEFENSE: Dodge 12, Parry 9, Fortitude 7, Toughness 6*/4 (*with Defensive Roll), Will 8
OFFENSE: Initiative +8/+16, Cursed Six-Shooters + 11 (Ranged, Damage 5), Unarmed + 10 (Close, Damage 4)
SKILLS: Athletics 6 (+10), Deception 8 (+11), Expertise: Gunslinger 10 (+12), Expertise: Gambler 10 (+12), Insight 7 (+12), Intimidation 9 (+12), Perception 5 (+10), Persuasion 5 (+8), Ranged Combat: Guns 5 (+11), Ride 4 (+10), Sleight of Hand 5 (+11), Stealth 4 (+8)
ADVANTAGES: Assessment, Benefit (Paired Guns [Max 4 damage each]), Close Attack 2, Defensive Roll 2, Evasion, Fascinate (Deception), Favored Foe (Other Gunslingers), Fearless, Improved Aim, Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Languages 1 (French; English is native), Move-By Action, Precise Attack (Ranged, Concealment), Seize Initiative, Skill Mastery 2 (Deception, Insight), Ultimate Aim, Uncanny Dodge

POWERS:
Fannin’ The Hammer: Multiattack on up to Ranged Damage 5 (Limited to appropriate firearms descriptors); Cost 3 PP
Hellfire and Brimstone (Cursed Six-Shooters): Ranged Damage 5 (Affects Insubstantial 2, Extended Range, Feature: Counts as whatever “bane” substance triggers any vulnerability a target possesses [silver, rosewood, etc.], Feature: Improved Critical 4, Incurable, Penetrating 5; Easily Removable, Indestructible); Cost 14 PP
Legendary Gunslinger: Enhanced Advantage 2 (Improved Initiative 2, Limited to Quick Draw), Features 2 (Can add Precise and Ricochet modifiers to any gun descriptor power); Cost 3 PP
“The Stare”: Enhanced Advantages 3 (Daze (Intimidation), Skill Mastery (Intimidation), Ultimate Skill (Intimidation)); Cost 3 PP

COMPLICATIONS:
The Curse: Quirk (Hellfire and Brimstone must be used to kill a target at least once a week or their wielder begins to grow weaker, losing 1 point in Stamina per week until he “feeds” the monstrous things. Also, the guns can’t be given away or, under normal circumstances, lost or left behind - they must be won by a new wielder, either by killing the previous wielder or inflicting some other humiliating defeat as defined by the GM; otherwise, they simply return to the established wielder magically at the next midnight)
Damned If I Do, Damned If…Well, Pretty Much Just Damned: Quirk (Epic Pessimist and General All-Around Mood Killer; any attempt to brighten moods or otherwise bring cheer when Gaunt is around automatically treated as Disabled in whatever trait is used for the check)
Haunted: Quirk (Suffers from frequent and HORRIFYING nightmares)
My Own Damn Fault: Motivation (Responsibility)

BACKGROUND:
Garret Gautier left New Orleans to make his name and escape from the dreary atmosphere from the continuing Reconstruction. As he made his way into the world of professional gambler (and equally professional gunslinger) he changed his name to the more dramatic “Gaunt” somewhere along that path. His life changed entirely the night he won a demanding marathon poker game that eventually came down to him and the odd old man that jumped at every shadow. When the old man hesitantly bet his ornate six-guns to cover the pot, Gaunt thought nothing of it. It was afterward that things turned strange, after he won, when the old man’s disbelieving guffaws turned into tears and then turned into laughter and he told Garret, “Someday, maybe you’ll forgive me, son. But I doubt it.” Then the old man left the bar and went directly to throw himself under the wheels of an arriving train.

By the following night, Gaunt had encountered a cryptic gypsy fortune teller who fled his presence without explanation, and he was forced to fight more than one …thing… that he couldn’t explain. Over the years following, he learned more about the guns he found he couldn’t get rid of as well as the endless litany of supernatural enemies that would never stop seeking him out while he carried them.

And the old man was right – Gaunt never forgave him.

HISTORICAL DISPOSITION:
After parting company with Prophet’s crew, Gaunt went back to his own curse-driven personal crusade against the supernatural while trying to find solace in one bottle after another. He ran into Lady Violet Pennyworth while they hunted the same nightmare, and over time and after further “coincidental” meetings, they fell in love and even became engaged. Her love healed a part of his soul and her magic helped ameliorate the bite of his twin six-shooters’ curse, at least for a while. Sadly, her death barring Kar’Kradas from entering Earth’s dimension nearly broke Gaunt. Less than a year after losing her, Gaunt fought his own last stand. Alongside a half-mad and defrocked priest, as well as a few other questionable companions, Gaunt traveled to a vampire-infested town in Maine where he and his companions explosively collapsed the focal point of the vampires’ devil-worshipping master’s power, a deconsecrated church built atop an underground labyrinth of tunnels. Gaunt was standing right next to the large stack of dynamite when it blew, holding off the bloodsucking horde descending to stop him and his associates.

Presumably, his cursed guns are still buried under the tons and tons of earth and rubble that remain undisturbed to this day.

INSPIRATION:
The idea for Garret came through this writer’s extensive gaming in the late 90s in the genre known as The Weird West, as well as his having read far too much of the work of Joe Lansdale and Robert E. Howard in terms of their haunted westerns subgenre.

That Sullivan Guy
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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 9:24 pm

NAME: Oberon Peake
PL: 8
COST: Abilities 54 + Powers 12 + Advantages 19 + Skills 46 + Defenses 11 = 142 Total
ABILITIES: Strength -1, Stamina 3, Agility 3, Dexterity 3, Fighting 3, Intellect 5, Awareness 7, Presence 4
DEFENSE: Dodge 7, Parry 4, Fortitude 5, Toughness 3, Will 11
OFFENSE: Initiative +3, Cane +7 (Close, Damage 0), Unarmed + 3 (Close, Damage -1)
SKILLS: Acrobatics 3 (+6), Athletics 3 (+2), Close Combat: Cane 4 (+7) Deception 8 (+12), Expertise: Connoisseur 10 (+15), Expertise: Current Events 6 (+11), Expertise: Fashion Plate 6 (+11), Expertise: Magic 5 (+10), Insight 8 ( +15), Investigation 11 (+18), Perception 8 (+7), Persuasion 8 (+12), Sleight of Hand 7 (+10), Stealth 4 (+7), Treatment 1 (+6)
ADVANTAGES: Artificer, Benefit (Status [aristocratic title], Wealth 2), Connected, Equipment, Fascinate (Persuasion), Improved Defense, Languages 5 (Ancient Greek, Arabic, Classical Latin, French, German, Italian, Hindi, Hungarian, Russian, Sanskrit), Luck 2, Ritualist, Skill Mastery 2 (Insight, Investigation), Taunt, Well-Informed

EQUIPMENT:
Silver-shod Cane (Strength-based Damage 1)

POWERS:
At a Glance: Senses 1 (Rapid Vision); Cost 1 PP
Feyblood: Immunity 1 (Aging), Mind Reading 6 (Subtle; Close, Distracting, Limited to Surface Thoughts); Cost 4 PP
Mage Light: Environment (Light 2); Cost 2 PP
Refined Palate: Senses 1 (Acute Taste); Cost 1 PP
Spellbreaker: Nullify Magic 8 (Burst Area, Broad, Simultaneous; Close, Distracting, Tiring); Cost 8 PP
Stygian Speech: Comprehend 2 (Spirits); Cost 4 PP

COMPLICATIONS:
It’s a Question of Style: Quirk (in dress and manners, Peake feels the need to stand out at all times)
Like Their Opinions Actually Matter: Prejudice (Peake’s effeteness and snobbery make for few friends)
You May Now Tell Me How Amazing I Am: Motivation (Recognition)
You say “Ego,” like It’s a Bad Thing: Quirk (Arrogant)

BACKGROUND:
Peake was found, literally, on the doorstep. An infant in a basket, he was left at the home of notorious wastrel, gadfly, and confirmed bachelor Lord Godfrey Peake, Earl of Wodford. At first, the Earl was simply amused at the novelty of the child’s presence, but after a few offhand remarks from family members, he hit upon the idea of adopting the foundling; maybe then his older relatives would stop pestering him about all that producing an heir business.

Oberon was thereafter raised with everything … except humility. His talents for observation and a quick wit were noticed at an early age, but his more esoteric and arcane interests only developed after puberty, when all of the other strange things he could do garnered attention. His family connections and wealth gained him access to a number of teachers and reticent mentors over the years, both in England and abroad, though his Olympian self-importance invariably led to their severing relations — Hesselius and Van Helsing turning their back on him he could deal with, but the public scene with Holmes was intolerable to Peake’s judgment, and led him to declaring himself a consulting detective as well, if for no other reason than to work at upstaging that Baker Street popinjay.

However, by dint of his own heritage or some other twist of fate, Peake’s work never seemed to lead him to the mundane challenges that delighted many of his rivals, but rather toward the uncanny, the inexplicable, and the outré. This suited Oberon Peake, self-styled dean of supernatural sleuths and maven of macabre mystery just fine.

HISTORICAL DISPOSITION:
Feeling too much in his friends’ shadows for a man of his ego to abide, Peake left his associates to continue building his own name as a ghostbreaker. His last known case was investigating a house in the desolate wilds of the Welsh borderlands, a house said to open into otherworldly dimensions and allow egress to strange visitors from them.

When associates of Peake’s went to investigate following a suspiciously long absence, they discovered the house to be gone, with the surrounding area looking as if the house had never even been there. No trace of the house or of Peake has ever been found.

INSPIRATION:
Oberon is obviously two parts Carnacki to one-part Holmes, with some fey elements (and a tincture of Oscar Wilde’s personality) thrown in for color. “Oberon” is derived from folklore and the King of the Faerie, while “Peake” came from the writer Mervyn Peake — at a time when I was younger and reading a lot of Hodgson’s Carnacki and Lord Dunsany’s work in general, I also read Peake’s gothic fantasy Gormenghast and his imagery often informed my visual imaginings of Dunsany’s and other fantasist’s work.
Last edited by That Sullivan Guy on Fri May 15, 2020 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 9:25 pm

NAME: “Rostov”
PL: 8
COST: Abilities 68 + Powers 13 + Advantages 38 + Skills 42 + Defenses 14 = 175 Total
ABILITIES: Strength 5, Stamina 5, Agility 3, Dexterity 2, Fighting 8, Intellect 3, Awareness 4, Presence 4
DEFENSE: Dodge 9, Parry 9, Fortitude 7, Toughness 7, Will 9
OFFENSE: Initiative +7, Hook-blade Knives + 10 (Close, Damage 6), Tartar Warbow + 11 (Ranged, Damage 5), Unarmed +10 (Close, Damage 5)
SKILLS: Acrobatics 4 (+7), Athletics 8 (+13), Deception 6 (+9), Expertise: Hunting 15 (+18), Insight 9 (+13), Intimidation 10 (+14), Perception 14 (+18), Persuasion 4 (+8), Ranged Attack (Tartar Warbow) 2 (+11), Stealth 10 (+13), Treatment 2 (+5)
ADVANTAGES: Accurate Attack, Animal Empathy, Assessment, Benefit (Status, Wealth 2), Chokehold, Close Attack 2, Connected, Diehard, Equipment 3, Fast Grab, Fearless, Great Endurance, Improved Aim, Improved Critical 2 (Warbow), Improved Grab, Improved Initiative, Languages 4 (English, French, German, Hindi, Igbo, Punjabi, Swahili; Russian is native), Power Attack, Precise Attack 2 (Ranged; Cover, Concealment), Ranged Combat 5, Skill Mastery 2 (Athletics, Perception), Tracking, Uncanny Dodge

EQUIPMENT:
Nasty looking hook-blade knife x 2 (Strength-based damage 1 (Secondary Effect when knife is pulled out of wound)), Modified Tartar Warbow (Ranged Damage 5 (Extended Range; Quirk: Str 5 incurs no penalty to use, but minimum Str 4 needed to use bow at all and only then with -2 penalty))

POWERS:
Everything Has a Weak Point: Penetrating 6, Variable Descriptor (any Damage effect Rostov wields); Cost 7 PP
Like Bear*: Enhanced Strength 1 (Limited to lifting; Str 6 for lifting or 3,200 lbs), Immunity 2 (Cold, Disease; Limited to half-strength), Protection 2, Speed 1 (4 mph); Cost 5 PP
Situational Awareness: Senses 1 (Danger Sense, visual); Cost 1 PP

(*read this description with a Russian accent for best effect)

COMPLICATIONS:
Craves Challenge: Addiction (Things to constantly test his limits)
Man’s True Calling: Quirk (Obsessed with hunting more and more dangerous targets)
There Is No Second Place: Rivalry (All other hunters and killers in general)

BACKGROUND:
Rostov’s ancestors were brutal Cossacks that built the family’s wealth, and won their titles, by a cold practicality in choosing sides in any conflict and the bloody expediency of never being afraid to get their hands dirty in pursuit of their goals. His father raised him to be strong in all things and to win regardless of cost; he did this through constant (traumatizing) tests thinly disguised as hunting expeditions and explosive bouts of physical violence with no warning. Rostov grew up physically massive, inured to hardship and pain, and hyper-aware of his surroundings. The day he returned from one of those expeditions alone came as no surprise to his relatives.

Mother Russia was tedious and undemanding, and running the family estates and holdings bored him to no end. Soon, he began traveling around the world, hunting ever more and more dangerous quarry and building the reputation that brought him to Herbert’s attention through historical records.

HISTORICAL DISPOSITION:
With the dissolution of Prophet’s crew, the man who called himself Rostov was once again left to his own devices. He went back to pursuing his obsessive passion of hunting, chasing the most challenging animals around the world. Over time, his passion descended into madness and to feed his need for challenge he created an organization of assassins where he competed against his “peers” in ending the lives of some of the best guarded and most dangerous people on the planet -- only to later grow bored with it and destroy the organization and hunt its own deadly members. Eventually, his family’s standing and titles were lost to the October Revolution, but he escaped the Bolsheviks and the destruction of his estate with much of his wealth already overseas. He bought an island somewhere near South America and began trapping people in its interior to hunt for sport until the day came when age and complacency led him to fatally underestimate the wrong man.

Note that Herbert agonized over the choice he made to suggest Rostov to Prophet. The older Russian’s actions against the Bolsheviks during the revolution would be infamous even among the depths of depravity many parties embraced in those times, but only someone like the wary Cossack could track Raub in a number of the places the Morlock would hunt.

INSPIRATION:
Go and google The Assassination Bureau, Ltd. and “The Most Dangerous Game.”

We’ll wait right here for you.

Go on.

The rest of the crew objected to Raub’s predations on moral grounds, but to Rostov, it was always about the challenge of chasing what Rostov saw as one of the premiere predators of his lifetime.
Last edited by That Sullivan Guy on Fri May 15, 2020 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 9:25 pm

NAME: Herbert Warren
PL: 4
COST: Abilities 38 + Powers 6 + Advantages 18 + Skills 33 + Defenses 5 = 103 Total
ABILITIES: Strength 0, Stamina 1, Agility 2, Dexterity 1, Fighting 3, Intellect 5, Awareness 5, Presence 2
DEFENSE: Dodge 4, Parry 4, Fortitude 2, Toughness 1, Will 6
OFFENSE: Initiative +2, Unarmed +3 (Close, Damage 0 )
SKILLS: Athletics 4 (+4), Deception 4 (+6), Expertise: Current Events [late 19th century] 9 (+14), Expertise: History 9 (+14), Expertise: Science 8 (+13), Insight 4 (+9), Investigations 4 (+9), Perception 4 (+9), Persuasion 8 (+10), Technology 9 (+14), Treatment 3 (+8), Vehicles 4 (+6)
ADVANTAGES: Attractive, Beginner’s Luck, Benefit (Cipher 4, Wealth 4*), Chronal Memory, Equipment 2, Fascinate (Persuasion), Inventor, Luck 2, Well-Informed

EQUIPMENT:
“The” Time Machine
Size: Medium, Strength: 0, Speed: 0, Defense: 0, Toughness: 5, Powers: Movement 3 (Time Travel 3), Features: None, Cost: 7 ep

POWERS:
Pocket Watch Mini-Comp Device: Comprehend 2 (speak and understand all languages), Immunity 2 (chronal disruptions), Senses 4 (Chronal Awareness, Acute, Analytical, Time Sense); Easily Removable; Cost 6 PP

COMPLICATIONS:
A Man Out of Time: Quirk (His knowledge of the era is academic, not lived experience, and this sometimes causes issues)
Eloi Upbringing: Quirk (Pacifist – Warren abhors violence and will go to great lengths to avoid harming or killing a lifeform, even in self-defense)
It’s Personal, On Many Levels: Motivation (Responsibility – If it weren’t for the Warren family, Raub would never have made it back through time); Motivation (Justice – Raub will pay for what he’s done)
*Resources of Interesting Provenance: Quirk (At the GM’s discretion, it may take time for Warren to access some of his great wealth given that he’s basically bringing rare materials back from the future to sell or exploiting future knowledge of financial events or liquidating decades old savings he invested in previous eras and so on)

BACKGROUND:
Such as it is, it’s covered in the “A Bit of History” section presented before the stats.

HISTORICAL DISPOSITION:
Warren continued traveling back and forth between eras following Raub’s disappearance, looking for records or other information that could lead him to his brother’s murderer before eventually (and mistakenly) accepting that Ruab must have died as he had appeared to in that fall. However, his travels had not gone unnoticed. Approached and recruited by the Time Keepers, Herbert would thereafter help train various Guardians of Time to patrol and protect the timestream.

INSPIRATION:
Well’s book, obviously.

Duh.

It only made sense that the traveler and his new paramour would have kids given the way the story ended for him. Since Wells had intentionally left him unnamed, though, that much of the character was fair game. “Warren”comes from the publisher of that time-traveling adventure series, The Rook, while “Ripley” is a hat tip to DC Comics own chrononaut, Rip Hunter.
Last edited by That Sullivan Guy on Fri May 15, 2020 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 9:25 pm

NAME: “Doktor Raub” (Hunts-With-Claws-Unseen)
PL: 10
COST: Abilities 78 + Powers 105 + Advantages 12 + Skills 35 + Defenses 9 = 239 Total
ABILITIES: Strength 4, Stamina 6, Agility 4, Dexterity 4, Fighting 6, Intellect 5, Awareness 7, Presence 3
DEFENSE: Dodge 12/6, Parry 12/6, Fortitude 7, Toughness 8, Will 13
OFFENSE: Initiative +8, Emotion Control (Perception Range, Will DC 18), Hallucination (Perception Range, Will DC 18), Mental Blast (Perception Range, Will DC 18), Psychic Vampirism (Close, Will DC 18), Unarmed + 14 (Close, Damage 4)
SKILLS: Acrobatics 8 (+12), Athletics 8 (+12), Deception 8 (+11), Expertise: Survival 6 (+11), Insight 6 (+13), Intimidation 6 (+9), Perception 8 (+15), Persuasion 4 (+7), Stealth 16 (+20)
ADVANTAGES: All-out Attack, Chokehold, Defensive Attack, Evasion, Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Initiative, Instant Up, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Second Chance (Will Saves), Tracking, Uncanny Dodge

POWERS:
Telepathy: Mind Reading 5 Linked to Area Mental Communication 2 and Linked to Comprehend 3 (Languages); Cost 26 PP
Psychic Predator: Senses 5 (Detect Minds, Ranged, Acute, Accurate); Cost 5 PP
Psychic Vampirism: Cumulative Affliction 8 (Fatigued, Exhausted, Incapacitated; Resisted and Overcome by Will; Subtle; Linked to Healing 8 (Subtle; Limited (Energizing Only), Limited (Self Only)); Cost 34 PP
AE: Emotion Control: Perception Ranged Cumulative Affliction 8 (Impaired, Disabled, Incapacitated; Resisted and Overcome by Will; Subtle, Variable Descriptor (Emotions)); Cost 1 PP
AE: Hallucination: Illusion 8 (All Senses; Selective, Limited to One Subject, Resistible by Will); Cost 1 PP
AE: Mental Blast: Perception Ranged Damage 8 (Alternate Resistance (Will), Subtle); Cost 1 PP
Knowledge Theft: Variable 2 (Enhanced Skills and Languages), Free Action, Limited to subject’s skill rank, Sense-Dependent (mental contact with subjects)); Cost 14 PP
Predator: Leap 1 (15 feet), Senses 2 (Darkvision), Speed 2 (8 mph); Cost 5 PP
Predictive Combat: Enhanced Defenses 12 (Dodge 6 and Parry 6; Quirk (not against opponents Immune to Mental Powers, –2 points)), Enhanced Advantages 8 (Close Combat 8; Quirk (not against opponents Immune to Mental Powers, –2 points); Cost 16 PP
Tough: Protection 2; Cost 2 PP

COMPLICATIONS:
Born Predator: Addiction (Raub’s abilities have conditioned him to certain appetites over the years. He can’t give up the hunt for psychic sustenance, or pillaging minds for memories and skills)
The Hated Day: Disability (Raub’s eyes are overly sensitive to light. Without his special glasses and their smoked lenses, he is visually impaired in full daylight or its equivalent)
MINE!: Motivation (Aggressive Ambition – Morlocks are “hardwired” for aggression, territoriality, and predatory dominance, all of which Raub’s superior intellect has allowed him to channel but not ignore)
Not His Home Territory: Quirk (Like other time travelers, Raub’s familiarity with the era he’s currently in is learned and not lived. This can cause issues.)
Predator’s Instincts: Quirk (Raub thinks of every other creature either as prey or a rival predator and this informs his every decision)
Prey Knows Its Place: Prejudice (Regardless of his powers of illusion and camouflage, something about Raub screams “predator” or “dangerous” no matter what guise he projects. People notice this and react accordingly — he is treated as if Impaired with any social interaction skill check for uses intended to be non-threatening)
Survive at All Costs: Quirk (Raub is alone and far from home – if faced with opposition he isn’t certain he can cow or kill, or with anything approaching a fair fight, he will normally choose to retreat and strike later from a stronger position)

BACKGROUND:
Mostly covered in the “A Bit of History” section. Exposure to the time stream(since he didn’t know how to use the time machine’s safety features) mutated him further; already among the most powerful Morlock mutants ever born, his abilities increased dramatically in transit towards the 19th century.

HISTORICAL DISPOSITION:
Despite their best efforts, it wasn’t Prophet and crew who eventually forced Raub to leave civilization once and for all; no, that was accomplished at the hands of several of the men he forced to be his allies and who he dangerously underestimated. Two of them, a British mastermind hiding behind the guise of a simple mathematics professor and his Chinese counterpart controlling the Tongs from beneath Limehouse in London, temporarily put aside their own difference and conspired to bring down their unwanted competition. The Chinese crimelord was a master of ancient arts of alchemy and he exposed Ruab to a concoction which robbed the monster of much of his psychic power (in game terms, rendered his Psychic Vampirism power and its Alternate Effects Disabled and Unreliable, apparently permanently). Barely able to stay ahead of hired assassins at that point, Raub desperately sought a cure to his condition. He learned of an ancient alien city lost in a nameless mountain range in Antarctica and went there seeking a means to restore his psychic prowess, as the stories he had collected spoke of those long-gone aliens as being entities of tremendous mental power.

As far as Prophet and associates know, Raub died in Antarctica, buried under collapsing ice when the monstrous device he retrieved from that lost city in those treacherous mountains drastically malfunctioned and shattered the frozen surface beneath his feet, thereby dropping him into a crevasse. His heroic puruers certainly didn’t have the ability to follow down after him and he was never heard of again according to their patron and his mysterious sources.

Unbeknownst to them (or recorded history), Raub survived that experience but, badly injured, he wandered through the subterranean world he had inadvertently discovered entrance to and eventually encountered contemporary Morlocks. Warren’s speculation as to the origin of Raub’s people had been in error – they had existed hidden alongside man instead of evolving from him. Raub never healed properly from the injuries he suffered falling into the crevasse and by that time he was approaching the end of his years anyway (Morlock lifespans simply aren’t that long, especially the mutants among them); he took the opportunity to seize control of a tribe of his people and mated with the strongest of its females; unfortunately for him, one of his offspring developed a strong defense against psychic powers, rendering his sire’s remaining gifts useless against the younger Morlock in a fight. Challenged by this younger rival, and unable to avoid the contest without losing control of the tribe, Raub was brutally beaten to death, and as was their custom, his slayer consumed Raub’s remains.

INSPIRATION:
Once I had decided to reference The Time Machine, I had to figure out a reasonthat would draw its creator (or relations) back to the 19th century - the machine being stolen by a Morlock was the most interesting of the ideas that occurred to me (and Jeremy Irons’ mutant character in an otherwise forgettable Hollywood remake sealed the deal for me).
Last edited by That Sullivan Guy on Fri May 15, 2020 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Fri May 15, 2020 9:26 pm

NAME: Lady Violet Pennyworth
PL: 10
COST: Abilities 52 + Powers 76 + Advantages 31 + Skills 29 + Defenses 17 = 205 Total
ABILITIES: Strength 1, Stamina 2, Agility 2, Dexterity 3, Fighting 4, Intellect 4, Awareness 6, Presence 4
DEFENSE: Dodge 6, Parry 6, Fortitude 6, Toughness 12/2*, Will 14. (*without Aegis of Abbridon)
OFFENSE: Initiative +2, Second Magic of the Modrossus +8 (Ranged, Damage 12), Unarmed +4 (Close, Damage 1), Various other spells +8 or Area (Ranged or Area, Will DCs 18-22)
SKILLS: Deception 4 (+8), Expertise: History 6 (+10), Expertise: Magic 9 (+13), Insight 8 (+14), Investigation 6 (+10), Perception 6 (+12), Persuasion 8 (+12), Ranged Combat: Spellcasting Array 5 (+8), Stealth 4 (+6), Treatment 2 (+6)
ADVANTAGES: Artificer, Attractive, Benefit (Master Mage 4, Status 2, Wealth 2), Connected, Equipment 4, Extraordinary Effort, Fearless, Inspire, Languages 4 (Ancient Greek, Atlantean, Classical Latin, French, German, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Sumerian; English is native), Luck 3, Ritualist, Skill Mastery (Expertise: Magic), Taunt, Trance, Ultimate Will, Well-informed

EQUIPMENT:
Blackbriar Keep
Size: Huge; Toughness: 12; Features: Defense Systems (spells and wards), Effect 2 (Enhanced Advantages 2: Ultimate Skill (Expertise: Magic, Limited to Library); Contacts (Arcane Spirits)), Grounds, Library, Living Space, Personnel, Sealed (Wards), Secret, Security System, Self-Repairing, Workshop; Cost: 18 ep

POWERS:
Aegis of Abbridon: Impervious Protection 10 (Sustained); Cost 20 PP
Eight Eyes of Ios: Senses 13 (Radius Vision, Vision Counters Illusion, Vision Counters and penetrates All Concealment); Cost 13 PP
Magesight: Senses 2 (Magical Awareness; Radius); Cost 2 PP

Spellcasting (Array, 32 PP; Total Cost 41 PP)
Astral Projection: Remote Sensing 10 (Visual, Auditory, and Mental; Subtle 2; physical body is defenseless); Cost 32 PP
AE: Abjurations of Abbridon: Nullify 12 (Binding, Darkness, and Evil Summon effects; Simultaneous); Cost 1 PP
AE: All-Revealing Light of Abbridon: Burst Area Nullify 12 (Concealing or Illusory Effects; Simultaneous; Close Range); Cost 1 PP
AE: First Magic of the Modrossus: Create 12 (Light Constructs); Cost 1 PP
AE: Holy Hosts of Heshem: Nullify 12 (Magic; Broad); Cost 1 PP
AE: Obdurate Obfuscations of Obriros: Illusion 4 (All Senses; Area (30 cubic feet), Selective; Resistible by Will); Cost 1 PP
AE: Second Magic of the Modrossus: Ranged Damage 12 (magic, searing blue-white light); Cost 1 PP
AE: Shining Shackles of Sirrion: Ranged Affliction 12 (Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Will; Hindered and Impaired, Disabled and Immobile; Extra Condition, Limited Degree); Cost 1 PP
AE: Sorrowful Sickness of Shatachna: Ranged Weaken 8 (Broad (Physical Abilities (one at a time))); Cost 1 PP
AE: Ward of Weyan: Burst Area Progressive Affliction 12 (Resisted and Overcome by Will; Entranced, Compelled, Controlled; Limited to Creatures of Chaos, Limited to Forcing Targets Away from Area); Cost 1 PP

COMPLICATIONS:
Arcane Baggage: Enemies (her family and her new office both have a litany of enemies and she has now inherited all of them)
Ars Arcana: Power Loss (Spellcasting array, when she can’t speak incantations or move her hands to gesture)
Comes with the Title and the Family Name: Motivation (Responsibility)
It’s Called Breeding: Quirk (Code of Honor)
Studious to a Fault: Motivation (Curiosity)
Tightly Wound: Quirk (This wasn’t the future she planned, she’d much rather be left alone with her books, and she has a major axe to grind with any entity or monster that forces her to deal with them instead of staying in her library)

BACKGROUND:
“Pennyworth” is the name her family took when Henry VI granted them their titles and the lands that included the castle called Blackbriar Keep at the conclusion of the War of the Roses; rumors among the family say that it was a bit of humor on the art of the family's elders at the time, underplaying the family's value to England ("a penny's worth of bother"). Whatever name they had before that, they buried as completely as possible. The family produced many arcane counselors to the crown, reputedly including the sorcerer who hid behind the alias “John Dee” as well as several of the founders of The Invisible College.

Violet expected to be able to spend her years in her favorite place in the world, the tower library in the family’s castle; after all, her father would pass the family responsibilities on to her uncle Alister or cousin Victor, not to her. The men in the family carried that burden and she was glad to let them — it was annoying work that often distracted one from their studies.

Then in rapid succession her father died fighting hideous minions of the Eightfold Web, her Uncle Alister was murdered by political rivals (poisoned, of all things …most embarrassing), and cousin Victor lost his life to a miscast ritual.

She had little choice at that point but to accept her family’s obligations, moral and otherwise, regardless of her personal desires. After thwarting the schemes of that vile Prussian dwarf, Herr Dunkel, and then his associate the absolute scoundrel Monsieur Etienne Le Fey, both of whom had sought to exploit the vacuum left following the tragic death of Broken Crow, Lady Violet was astonished to find herself party to an unrequested meeting with the Secret Circle and granted the title of “Master Mage.” She had neither sought nor wanted the office, but the office HAD to be filled and one simply did not ignore an obligation of that caliber; noblesse oblige wasn’t limited to earthly matters after all. Thereafter, she threw herself into advancing her mastery of the arts with a fierce intensity that filled every waking hour not spent seeing to the duties of her office, leaving little time for a life or studies of any mundane nature.

HISTORICAL DISPOSITION:
As was established in the timeline included in the original chapter, Lady Pennyworth heroically saw to her duties as Master Mage, sacrificing herself to stop the invasion of Earth’s dimension by the monstrous entity Kar’Kradas when she saw there was simply no other way to bar passage to the monstrosity save with that most costly of rituals.

Her death, without spouse or issue, saw the end of the Pennyworth line (at least, so far as history records the matter). Before that death, though, she met and fell completely in love with the American Garret Gaunt; a limited but blessed respite from their otherwise depressing lives, for the short time that it was granted them.

INSPIRATION:
Since Steve had already established Broken Crow’s demise at the Battle of Wounded Knee, the stage was set for a successor, since events of that period were too significant in the arcane realms for the position to remain unfilled, at least by my estimations. As I wanted the Master Mage to have tense relations to the Sons of Merlin and other power players, forcing the title holder to operate alone, I felt making the character a woman would explain why the chauvinist old fogeys of the occult establishment kept her at arm’s length; however, in addition to making her powerful enough for the Secret Circle to grant her the title, also making her of high social status (i.e., an aristocrat) would see to it she had the standing and connections such that the crusty old-timers of various western occult societies would find it difficult to out-and-out ignore her. Violet was a popular girl’s name at the time, and I’ve always liked the family name “Pennyworth.”

In my headcanon, the turmoil in the arcane realms caused by Kar’Kradas and the epic bindings Pennyworth had called on to foil his arrival, combined with the murders of the powerful Sons of Merlin and other heavy-hitters among the arcane community, fomented the chaos the Secret Circle’s enemies needed to keep them off-balance for the four decades separating Pennyworth and the next Master Mage, Adrian Eldrich.

Note: Since I had tied her to Garret Gaunt’s backstory, I thought it only fair to give the poor woman some stats and include her with the rest of the characters here.

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by Davies » Sat May 16, 2020 12:47 am

Fascinating!

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by greycrusader » Sat May 16, 2020 3:04 am

The background of your villain, Dr. Raub, was absolutely inspired, the sort of wildly creative turn the genre permits but rarely realizes. Previously I conceived of Dr. Raub as an analogue of Dr. Mabuse. I absolutely commend you on writing such an memorable antagonist-you really should do something in the future with the character, outside of the rpg realm if you wish, altering whatever details might be necessary. I very much liked your conception of Prophet's Crusade, as less a team of heroes (though their actions were certainly heroic) and more a collection of exceptional people with wildly different motivations for their pursuits.

I wrote the Wild West section for the Time Traveler's Codex (as well as the Handle Animal and Riding skill descriptions), and hope you found it a worthy if brief successor to your own work.

All my best.

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by Voltron64 » Sat May 16, 2020 5:03 pm

I honestly enjoy how Doc Prophet got his brains from his ma.

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by That Sullivan Guy » Thu May 21, 2020 8:37 pm

greycrusader wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:04 am
The background of your villain, Dr. Raub, was absolutely inspired, the sort of wildly creative turn the genre permits but rarely realizes. Previously I conceived of Dr. Raub as an analogue of Dr. Mabuse. I absolutely commend you on writing such an memorable antagonist-you really should do something in the future with the character, outside of the rpg realm if you wish, altering whatever details might be necessary. I very much liked your conception of Prophet's Crusade, as less a team of heroes (though their actions were certainly heroic) and more a collection of exceptional people with wildly different motivations for their pursuits.

I wrote the Wild West section for the Time Traveler's Codex (as well as the Handle Animal and Riding skill descriptions), and hope you found it a worthy if brief successor to your own work.

All my best.
Nah - Mabuse was a little obscure* for where I was going at the time. If you like the Mabuse character, though, I might suggest reading Kim Newman's "Hound of the D'Urbevilles" which has Moriarty viewing Mabuse has his true rival and not Holmes. Good read, but I'm a diehard Newman fan (from back when Anno Dracula appeared in its original short form in an anthology) so I might be biased.

I thought the Wild West section in the new book was fine, but that you got seriously under page-counted for the section by the developer. I can see where Crystal was going on wanting to broaden the approach, but I can honestly say some of the sections GR went with this time around (pun intended) had me scratching my head. Maybe I'm alone in wondering about the appeal of gaming in some of the newly presented time periods ... I can be weird that way.


(*from my perspective at the time .... and yes, given some of the references I gave I can see where that statement might inspire an "Um.... ooookkkaaayyy...")

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Re: Freedom by Gaslight (3rd edition)

Post by greycrusader » Fri May 22, 2020 1:52 am

I was somewhat surprised at the rather brief word count/page count I was assigned, and at the sheer number of periods covered. DC and Marvel have delved into stories and even series which at least superficially fall into the "superhero" (or at least "masked do-gooder") category in many eras...but OTOH, not many have been successful long-term. By not many, I'd say I really cannot think of one-I mean, guys like the original Black Knight, Golden Gladiator, Black Pirate, etc., are pretty much minor footnotes. So I'm not sure how much interest there is in those types of settings, but then again, rpg campaign options don't have to be as commercial as mainstream comics, so maybe GMs and players will have their interest sparked?

There was definitely material of mine which got trimmed back, including the material I listed above, and a few more notes about Canada during the time period which I posted on the M&M Facebook page. I've got a little more to post here and there over the next week or so.

I must say I always enjoyed your work while you were still active in the field. All my best!

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