The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons Completed! On Break!)

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EternalPhoenix
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Starman I (John Thompkins) & Starwoman I (Judy Thompkins)

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Starman I (John Thompkins)

Power Level: 16; Power Points Spent: 255/255

STR: +20 (20/50), DEX: +1 (12), CON: +20 (20/50), INT: +0 (10), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +5 (20)

Tough: +20, Fort: +20, Ref: +12, Will: +10

Skills: Bluff 5 (+10), Craft (structural) 10 (+10), Diplomacy 5 (+10), Intimidate 10 (+15), Knowledge (business) 5 (+5), Knowledge (civics) 5 (+5), Knowledge (earth sciences) 5 (+5), Knowledge (physical sciences) 5 (+5), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15)

Feats: All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (melee) 5, Dodge Focus 3, Improved Initiative, Interpose, Luck 3, Power Attack, Startle, Takedown Attack 2, Ultimate Effort (Strength checks), Ultimate Effort (Toughness checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Untapped Potential

Powers:
Starheart Augmented Physiology (Container, Passive 17)
. . Stellar Durability (Impervious Toughness 15)
. . Stellar Might (Super-Strength 5) (+25 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 13.4m tons; +5 STR to some checks)
. . Stellar Resilience (Enhanced Constitution 30) (+30 CON)
. . Stellar Strength (Enhanced Strength 30) (+30 STR)

Stellar Flight (Flight 5) (Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd)

Stellar Might Tricks (Array 15) (default power: super-strength)
. . Shockwave (Strike 15) (Array; DC 30; Cone Area (150 ft. cone - General))
. . Sleeper Hold (Stun 15) (Array; DC 25; Duration (concentration); Requires Grapple)
. . Stellar Might Boost (Super-Strength 15) (Default; +75 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 13.4m tons; +15 STR to some checks)
. . Super-Breath (Trip 15) (Array; Cone Area (150 ft. cone - General), Knockback; Range (touch))
. . Thunderclap (Dazzle 15) (Array; affects: 1 sense type - auditory, DC 25; Burst Area (75 ft. radius - General), Selective Attack; Range (touch))

Attack Bonus: +7 (Ranged: +7, Melee: +12, Grapple: +32/+52)

Attacks: Shockwave (Strike 15) (DC 30), Sleeper Hold (Stun 15), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 25), Super-Breath (Trip 15) (DC 25), Thunderclap (Dazzle 15) (DC Fort/Ref 25), Unarmed Attack, +12 (DC 35)

Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -17

Initiative: +5

Drawbacks: Vulnerable, uncommon, major, Mind Control effects

Languages: English Native

Totals: Abilities 38 + Skills 19 (74 ranks) + Feats 22 + Powers 129 + Combat 32 + Saves 18 - Drawbacks 3 = 255

*****************************************************************************************

Starwoman I (Judy Thompkins)

Power Level: 16; Power Points Spent: 240/240

STR: +1 (12), DEX: +2 (14), CON: +4 (18), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16)

Tough: +4/+6/+12, Fort: +10, Ref: +10/+20, Will: +10

Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+10), Bluff 7 (+10), Craft (chemical) 7 (+10), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Gather Information 7 (+10), Knowledge (current events) 2 (+5), Knowledge (earth sciences) 7 (+10), Knowledge (physical sciences) 7 (+10), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15)

Feats: Accurate Attack, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Dodge Focus 3, Evasion 2, Improved Aim, Improved Critical (Star Bolts (Blast 12)), Improved Initiative 5, Interpose, Luck 3, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Ultimate Effort (Flight Speed checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory)

Powers:
Starheart Speed (Container, Passive 18)
. . Stellar Flight (Flight 10) (Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd)
. . Stellar Quickness (Quickness 10) (Perform routine tasks at 2500x speed)
. . Stellar Reflexes (Enhanced Trait 58) (Traits: Attack Bonus +10 (+12), Defense Bonus +8 (+20), Reflex +10 (+20), Dodge Focus 3 +2 (+3), Feats: Defensive Roll 3, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 5)
. . Stellar Resilience (Protection 2) (+2 Toughness)

Stellar Energy Manipulation (Array 20) (default power: blast)
. . Stellar Flight Boost (Flight 10) (Alternate; Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd; Stacks with (Stellar Flight (Flight 10)))
. . Stellar Quickness Boost (Quickness 10) (Alternate; Perform routine tasks at 2500x speed; Stacks with (Stellar Quickness (Quickness 10)))
. . Star Blast (Blast 20) (Default; DC 35)
. . Star Bolts (Blast 12) (Array; DC 27, Feats: Improved Critical (Star Bolts (Blast 12)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [10 ranks only]; Accurate 4 (+8))
. . Stellar Energy Field (Strike 10) (Array; DC 25; Shapeable Area (10 cubes of 125 cu. ft. (5x5x5) - General), Duration (concentration), Selective Attack)
. . Stellar Energy Objects (Create Object 12) (Array; Max Size: 12x 25' cubes, DC 22; Movable (Radius: 60 ft., Strength: 60, Force: 51.2 tons); Progression, Object Size 2, Selective, Stationary)

Attack Bonus: +2/+12 (Ranged: +2/+12, Melee: +2/+12, Grapple: +3/+13)

Attacks: Star Blast (Blast 20), +12 (DC 35), Star Bolts (Blast 12), +20 (DC 27), Star Energy Field (Strike 10) (DC 25), Unarmed Attack, +12 (DC 16)

Defense: +12/+20 (Flat-footed: +9), Knockback: -4

Initiative: +22

Languages: English Native

Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 19 (76 ranks) + Feats 12 + Powers 134 + Combat 22 + Saves 21 + Drawbacks 0 = 240


Ages (as of Jan 2019): Deceased in 1993 at ages 63 (Starman I), and 61 (Starwoman I)
Heights: 6’ 6” (Starman I), 5’ 6” (Starwoman I)
Weights: 300 (Starman I), 120 (Starwoman I)
Ethnicities: Caucasian
Hair: Brown (partly gray at retirement, entirely grey at death)
Eyes: Brown
Base of Operations: Chicago, Illinois

Background: John Thompkins was nobody. Just a construction worker. 31 years old. Married a few years to his beloved Judy. One day, after a 12 hour shift, he headed home. He had to cross a small park on the way. He did not get all the way across it. The next thing he knew he was laying in an area of scorched grass at least thirty feet wide. He felt very strange, and couldn’t quite think straight. So he continued home. Judy had dinner ready, but first things went first. He gave her a hug and a kiss. An extremely bright light shone brilliantly out of their windows for several seconds before going dark. Neither of them knew anything about it, because they were on the floor unconscious.

. . In the morning, there was nothing to do but react like an adult, you know? Set an appointment to see the doctor and make sure they were okay. But in the meantime, John still had to go to work. Judy still had plans for her day. John’s day was surprisingly easy. Like he’d gotten stronger since yesterday. How funny. Judy dashed across a street to beat the light and got there fast enough to surprise the hell out of the people already there. Well, she’d always been a good runner. Day two after was a whole different kettle of fish. A rope snapped and dropped a pile of I beams on John, who’d pushed his best pal out of the way beforehand. Everyone was hurting for how to tell poor Judy when John just…stood up. Shrugged off tons of weight like it was water. He definitely couldn’t do that the other day. Everyone tried to play it off like the I beams had landed just right. John was a big strong guy, right? His helmet had protected him. It did break. They just had to have seen what happened wrong, that’s all. Judy had had her own adventure, accidently running out of town and blowing up a tree with her first Star Blast. John may have been of average intelligence, but Judy was whip smart. She knew they had superpowers now. It was John, however, who suggested the whole costume and codename thing.

. . It is important to note that there were no publically operating superheroes in 1961. Between J. Edgar Hoover in the shadows and Congressmen like Joseph McCarthy more publically, most superheroes (and everyone publically operating at that time) retired or was jailed. After all, what was more communist than protecting the welfare of all men and women and fighting injustice wherever it appeared, apparently. And while the senator and his philosophy had largely been discredited by 1961, the memories lingered. It hadn’t been a full decade since genuine war heroes were being asked “are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?”. Having their identities exposed by the FBI or being harassed to out their identities themselves. Things had changed. McCarthy was both gone and dead. But Hoover was still there. And he still hated masked heroes. So John asking this of his wife was a bold move in the context of the period. Still, they decided together to become superheroes. And with a little practice to get the hang of their new powers, they debuted as Starman and Stargirl. The Silver Age of heroes had begun.

. . It is impossible to emphasize enough how much Starman set the gold standard for what a superhero was supposed to be. He said power inherently came with responsibility, and by god he lived it. Iconic doesn’t even begin to cover it. When everyone else fell down defeated, he kept standing. He endured more punishment than any other hero in recorded history. He dished out more than his fair share, as well. He saved so many lives. 25 years of sheer excellence. He pushed himself above and behind his supposed limits so often it became a meme before the internet. To put his impact in perspective, prior to his debut in 1961 it was not all that unusual for heroes to kill their enemies. Protecting the innocent and vulnerable took priority, naturally, but in the Golden Age, the Mystery Men Era before it, and further back it just wasn’t unusual for heroes to put a permanent end to villains and criminals local law enforcement couldn’t handle. Not all heroes did, mind, but a lot of the Mystery Men’s claims to fame were “good detective, very determined, and will shoot bad guys with their gun if they need to”. Starman refused both to kill and to put up with anyone who did. His powers were to protect life, not take it. Power came with responsibility, after all. To say this sent shockwaves through the heroic community just as it was beginning to revive is a massive understatement. At the time Starman seemed to be the most powerful hero who’d ever lived. And he refused to kill anyone, deliberately handicapping himself so he wouldn’t. So yeah, he was a big deal.

. . And he was like this right from the start. Stargirl got pregnant pretty early on. This left Starman to his own devices pretty regularly for the next 15 years. Jesse Thompkins was born in 1962, and Jacqueline “Jackie” Thompkins was born in 1964. Seeing as it was the 60s and then the 70s, Stargirl (who changed to Starwoman the year after Jackie was born) was a homemaker who stayed home with the children. She was a feminist, but there weren’t any legal repercussions for leaving the married mother of two unemployed until after it no longer really mattered. Starwoman wasn’t particularly prominent in the movement, but Judy? Oh hell yeah. Anyone who complained to John about her got glared at until they backed down. He may have not quite been on the “support all women” train at the start, but he absolutely was on the “support my wife” train. Which was the great thing about their marriage. They had each other’s backs entirely, and remained very much in love to anyone with eyes and a brain throughout their careers. The reason Starwoman wasn’t more prominent was about Starman’s desire to remain as apolitical as possible while in costume.

. . In 1968, Starman, Starwoman, Gunsmith I, Megagirl, Arriba, Nega I, Alsea, and Countess formed the Champions of Justice in response to the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert F. Kennedy. Gunsmith had physically been at the former event (as in literally in the room when the shot was fired), and was still recovering at the time from a violent confrontation with what he would claim until his death in 1992 was a highly skilled professional sniper team. If he had any proof of this, it was in his manor which burned to the ground shortly before said death. Megagirl had been covering the Kennedy campaign in her civilian identity for the San Francisco Chronicle, and personally flew RFK’s ambulance to the hospital. She had not literally been in the room, and regretted not trying to be for a very long time. And so they formed the first and to date only major superteam in the United States.

. . The 1970s saw Starman ascend from well known in the United States to one of the most famous people on the planet. He was the clear star as the Champions repelled the first alien invasion in recorded history. They, and especially he, made it look easy. It wasn’t, exactly, but whatever. He was the mighty, invincible Starman. So obviously supervillains poured out of the woodwork to take him down and make their names. Obviously, they all failed, which only enhanced his reputation. Starwoman was, as ever, key to his success and a famous superheroine in her own right. But things changed forever in 1975, when their son discovered he had inherited their combined powers. Both mother and father were ecstatic. Overjoyed. They weren’t sure if this would happen, and they’d never lied to their children about who they were, once they were old enough to understand it wasn’t something to tell people. And so that year saw the debut of Starboy I. He didn’t have the raw power of either of his parents, but he was also 13 years old. So, patience. As expected, their daughter’s powers emerged in 1977. Shortly thereafter she debuted as Stargirl II. The Starfamily had arrived. It wouldn’t last forever or even all that long, but for a brief moment, they were the most famous family of all time. The father. The mother. The older brother. And the younger sister. A team as mighty and invincible as Starman himself.

. . Well, until the following year of 1978, where the monster Armageddon punched a big ragged hole in that idea. Where it came from, nobody knows and nobody wants to. The Starkids weren’t strong enough to hurt him, and he bulldozed through most of the Champions with ease. Starman went hand to hand with the monster, with support from Starwoman, Megagirl, and Arriba. He fought the damn thing all day, and eventually even Starwoman and Megagirl fell away, too injured to continue. The main problem is that, as always, they were fighting to subdue instead of kill. Which, as it turned out, as impossible. So the exhausted Arriba caused one last distraction, and Starman hit Armageddon with all the strength and power he could muster. Earth has had asteroids impact with less force. The monster’s skull shattered and it died instantly. The battle was over. The monster was dead. And so was, unfortunately, the idea that Starman couldn’t be stopped. It took him a few months to recover from his injuries, when before he had never needed more than a week at worst. He walked with a limp for the rest of his life and his left shoulder was never quite the same. He carried several new ragged scars, too, including one over his left eye. But the Champions and the Starfamily rolled on. Though there is good reason to think that this was when he first started thinking about retirement.

. . It was 1982 when he first spoke of it to anyone. Specifically, after the invasion of Kuros The Conqueror. This wasn’t one threat to fight. It was a thousand spread across the face of the planet. It was, arguably, the Champions’ finest hour. Virtually every superhero on the planet pitched in. Even old enemies (like the Baroness Valia, who they’d battled a time or three, especially Megagirl) threw in to defend the world. And because Starman was the kind of man he was with the kind of principles he had, he took on Kuros by himself. The official story is that he won. He kicked Kuros off the planet as his usual heroic self. This is false. Kuros was badly injured when he fled, this much is true. However, Starman had basically lost the fight by that point. For the first time since before that day long ago in 1961, he’d met an opponent he simply couldn’t beat no matter how hard he tried. Someone with a lesser constitution would have died on the spot. John Thompkins, professional stubborn bastard, stood up again and lifted his fists. The fact that he was still apparently still able to fight despite the horrific injuries Kuros had already inflicted terrified the Conqueror into abandoning his invasion entirely. In Kuros’s defense, if the man you just thought you finished violently and brutally beating to death, who’d already hurt you pretty badly, got up apparently ready for another round you’d piss yourself and run too. To his final day last year he was only frightened of two things. Nick Phoenix (who whooped his ass when he returned for revenge in ’92), and those who wear the Star. So yes, Kuros The Annihilator just about pissed himself in terror when Starman III and Starwoman II showed up to whoop his ass. He wasn’t overpowered; he was “oh fuck”-ing about them too hard to fight effectively.

. . However, the reality was that virtually every hero who’s ever lived but Starman would have died from that beating. Including Nick Phoenix. Aside from the fact that he regenerates too fast for damage to build up that much from anything. The once mighty and invincible Starman was in critical condition for weeks. Nobody could operate. The equipment didn’t exist. Even setting his broken bones required the strength of Megagirl, who wasn’t in great shape herself after the invasion. Relieving the pressure on his brain required Starwoman, his wife, to cut into his skull with a precision Star Blast because nothing else could penetrate. All anyone could do after that was hope. Obviously, he pulled through, but he was never the same. Nowadays, the symptoms match those of someone suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Dizziness. Headaches. Memory loss. Confusion. His limp was now pronounced. Most of his joints (shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, etc) had suffered some kind of permanent damage. He couldn’t even stand up straight anymore. At least, not for long. But he was still Starman, professional stubborn bastard. He hung on. He wasn’t sure if his son was ready. The Starfamily also broke up, with Stargirl moving to Los Angeles for a variety of reasons.

. . His powers starting to fail in 1985 made the decision for him. He couldn’t go with the Champions on their space trip. He just didn’t have enough in the tank. It was time, or close enough. Starman finally retired the year after (he hung on hoping for them to come back, but they never did as far as he knew), and Starboy took on the mantle of his father. Starwoman retired with her husband. His mental problems were slowly getting worse (even if he wouldn’t admit it), and he needed her more than ever. And Stargirl stopped appearing entirely down in Los Angeles, with her going entirely into civilian life. Starman II had managed to empower his wife as Starqueen I, but something had gone wrong. She wasn’t as powerful as the rest. And she showed no aptitude for hero work, anyway. Her instincts were all wrong, and she was chronically hesitant. So she didn’t go out wearing the Star very often. The Starfamily was well and truly gone. The story of his death has been told. What was omitted from that account is that Starman II was there. He offered to take his father up himself. Let his mother live. Both of them declined. So Jesse Thompkins got to have an emotional farewell to his parents John and Judy, and then he got to watch the explosion that marked their end. The rest is known.

. . The legacy of the original Starman was ultimately a depressing one until the Endgame. A son who died young, a daughter who walked away from the life by age 21, and grandchildren who didn’t seem particularly interested in putting on the Star full time. Even the appearance of Starguy lent credence (due to his being far less powerful) to the idea that his legacy was fading out into nothingness. And then Jack and Jennifer Thompkins shattered that idea, along with Kuros’s confidence. As 2019 dawns, reports of Starman III and Starwoman II visiting the inheritors of the Champions’ legacies have surfaced. Gunsmith II in St. Louis. Andale in El Paso. Chloro in San Diego. Between that and the refusal (vehement on Jack’s behalf) of both to join the Icons, there may be a new supergroup in the very new future. After all, Jack Thompkins is the same age as his grandfather when he started…

Powers & Tactics: Starman and Starwoman were, technically, mutants. To this day, 58 years after it happened, nobody has any idea what happened to John Thompkins to change him. We do, however, have an idea of why he didn’t get the powers his descendants did, and why his wife got them instead. John Thompkins was originally a metahuman, with a minor enhancement to his physical resilience. We know this because in his early 20s John got into a significant amount of bar fights, and always was able to walk away under his own power. No unpowered human is that tough. So, however the transformation/alteration/mutation process that grants the Starpowers followed the model already laid out for it, and apparently couldn’t do the rest, which caused said rest to jump to his wife Judy.

. . However, both of their powers functioned in the same now legendary way. They both had a nuclear fusion reaction inside their chests, pumping out energy as only they can. It is known as a Starheart. Physiological alterations channeled that power into their respective abilities. For Starman, it was genuinely phenomenal strength and resilience, along with the ability to fly at subsonic speeds. Starman set the platinum standard in both of his major categories. Nobody without abilities on a cosmic scale has ever exceeded or even matched his strength. Not Cory of the Exiles, though he’s not bad. Not Tex Austin of the Icons. Not Big Ben over in the United Kingdom. Not even his own son could match him. He carried aircraft carries without noticeable effort. Held up skyscrapers. Diverted asteroids. The best estimate of his full lifting capacity was several million tons, and this was widely regarded as a lowball estimate. His ability to absorb punishment (not resist it) was equally unparalleled. Cory, Tex, and Ben each have equally impressive damage resistance, however, not of them are in Starman’s league when that alone is not enough. Cory’s not bad, but all of them will go down and stay there if enough damage is applied. He never did. This was thought to be the legacy of his metahuman genetics…until his son did it, at the last, against Armageddon. Something about the Starpowers makes the possessor able to stand and fight when they should be down and out, if not outright dying. Indeed, he was the mighty, invincible Starman…until he wasn’t.

. . For Starwoman, it was genuinely phenomenal speed, equal quickness and reflexes, and the ability to emit and manipulate said stellar energy. And again, she set the platinum standard in all categories. Nobody without abilities on a cosmic scale has ever exceeded her speed and blasting power. Her speed was matched by Arriba, but he was partly empowered by one of those folks on the cosmic scale and he could not fly. She could. As of this writing, the only known non cosmic powered being that has matched her blasting power is Drone Prime (The Prince). And he is an ageless immortal at the peak of his power. She wasn’t immortal at all. Everyone else has fallen short. To be clear, she wasn’t merely hypersonic. She wasn’t merely beyond hypersonic. She could go from immobile to a significant fraction of the speed of light almost instantaneously. Some modern historians downplay her abilities, but she was every bit as powerful and important to the success of the Champions as Starman himself. She wasn’t merely his wife or even his right hand. They were equal partners from the beginning to the very end.

. . Starman, over time, developed some tricks he could do with his strength. He could clap his hand together in a couple of different ways to create either a damaging shockwave or a deafening thunderclap. He could exhale extra hard and blow foes away. Or he could just put the opponent in a sleeper hold after grappling them, and put them to sleep.

. . Starwoman had more ways to manipulate stellar energy than her standard blast. She could also use rapid fire bolts, create temporary solid objects (a power her son also possessed) and uniquely, at least so far, could maintain a damaging field of energy around herself in whatever shape she chose. As an interesting note, she (like the entire Starfamily) couldn’t use her full speed and emit energy at the same time. This is very likely because energy being emitted was not energy being used for her speed.

. . Tactically, they were a well oiled machine even by ’62. Starman got in close and punched hard. Starwoman would hang back and blast away. But as always, the devil’s in the details. Ordinary thugs literally couldn’t hurt Starman. Hell, ordinary supervillains couldn’t hurt him. Toughness 20, Impervious 15 is functionally invincible unless one can overcome the Impervious without using Penetrating. So he’d just wade in disarming the thuggery. Maybe he’d use Thunderclap to distract them. He routinely cut Strength or Shockwave ranks to avoid doing lethal damage to ordinary supervillains. It’s really what the Stellar Might Tricks were for. Clearing out the foes who couldn’t really hurt him but could hurt his allies or unevacuated bystanders. For anyone with power and durability approaching his own, he brought out his legendary full power punches. He had both All Out Attack and Startle to help those punches hit, and Power Attack on the rare occasion he needed to hit even harder. He also had Interpose, to take punishment others could not endure. Take note of Ultimate Strength, Ultimate Toughness, and Untapped Potential. For when the need was dire, the mighty and invincible Starman could surpass his limits and momentarily possess the power of a god.

. . Starwoman took a similar approach, but again the devil’s in the details. Instead of being unable to hurt her, common thuggery is unable to hit her. Even ordinary supervillains struggled. So she leaned on disarming the thuggery too. Sometimes she trapped them in Stellar Energy Object instead. She routinely cut Star Bolts ranks to avoid doing lethal damage and used Autofire’s Multiple Targets option on groups. Not like she was likely to miss, right? Accurate Attack could cut damage ranks while boosting, well, Accuracy, so it was her go to here. Defensive Attack could boost her Defense. Power Attack could add damage. She abused Move by Action relentlessly. Her using Multiple Targets with Star Bolts and Move by Action was by far the most common thing she did and generally how she is remembered acting in combat. This does not mean she never used Star Blast or Star Energy Field. It’s just that with Power Attack available, she rarely needed to use the former and with Multiple Targets the latter wasn’t always the best option. Stellar Energy Objects gave her a way of lifting things, too, which was very useful. Especially when Starman or Megagirl’s hands were full.

. . These builds represent them from 1962 to 1982. Starwoman doesn’t actually change after ’82, however. In ’61 they had Stellar Speed instead of Stellar Flight, and they didn’t know they could fly until close to the end of the year. Starman, after recovering from the battle with Kuros, had his INT reduced to 8 (-1) and his WIS reduced to 14 (+2). His Craft and Knowledge skills do not change, but his Notice and Sense Motive drop to +10. Additionally, he drops two ranks of Base Attack and Defense, reducing him to PL 15. In 1985, with his powers starting to fail, Stellar Strength and Stellar Resilience drop to 25 ranks each. Stellar Durability drops two ranks, to 13. Stellar Might Tricks is drops two ranks as well, to 13, and all array settings are reduced accordingly. His Base Attack and Defense drop one more point, leaving him PL 13. It is not known how much further he declined in his retirement. He was, however, noticeably frail looking and virtually immobile without using Stellar Flight. So it was probably very bad.

Personalities: People these days like to pretend that John Thompkins was a saint on earth. That Starman was this flawless ideal. He wasn’t. He was just a man. Not the smartest. Not the wisest. Just a man born in the US Midwest in the Great Depression. He never thought he’d be anybody. He never thought he’d make more of a difference in the world than by raising his kids with the principles he’d been raised with. And then that changed. People misunderstand who he was so much. They think he was one of those heroes driven by compassion and love for his fellow people. That he couldn’t stand to let bad things happen to good people. This is false. There is no record of him being anything other than your average helpful bystander before 1961. John Thompkins believed in responsibility. The more power one had, the more responsibility they had. This responsibility was to do for others what they could not reasonably be expected for themselves. So yes, he helped short people reach things. Maybe escorted an old lady or three across the street. Little things, because he was only a man. A big, strong man, but only a man.

. . And then, once again, that changed. But John didn’t. He was no different, on this front, in 1986 than he was in 1961. The thing that was different, well…by 2019 standards the 1961 version of John was a little racist and sexist. To be fair, this was ignorance, not malice. Things were different back then, and to his credit his long friendships with Gunsmith (himself a Black man), Megagirl, and Arriba (and learning to actually listen to his wife instead of unthinkingly support her) educated him on the subjects. The 1986 version of John was a good man indeed, but one who was glad to put his responsibility down. He never enjoyed being a hero, contrary to most of his contemporaries. This isn’t to say that he hated it. John wasn’t a man of deep thoughts or complex emotions. He had the power, so he had the responsibility. End of thought process. His feelings about it weren’t relevant. But in 1986 he was tired. His body hurt. He limped. He couldn’t always get his thoughts focused anymore. And he was pushing 60. His son was more than ready. So John Thompkins took off his Starman shirt for the last time, and went home without a backward glance. Some people might say this makes him not the hero they thought he was. To them I say…he did a job he didn’t enjoy for 25 years. He threw everything he had into it, and never accepted any reward beyond a decent meal and a place to sleep. It destroyed his body, damaged his mind, and wore away at his sanity. He had saved more people than any of us will ever meet before the Champions were founded. And your complaint is that he found it all too easy to retire? Well. Aren’t you picky.

. . People like to characterize Starwoman as little more than a dutiful housewife who never did anything but support her husband. This is inaccurate. She was a dedicated feminist to the end of her days. While she may have deferred to her husband’s desires to remain apolitical while in costume, Judy Thompkins had no such limitations. Those who knew her say that she was a cheerful, intelligent woman with a strong sense of humor and a slow burning but volcanic temper. Her journals detail a woman who didn’t have any choice but to get married if she wanted to ever leave the small town she grew up in, endless frustration with the limitations forced on women for no other reason than the fact that they were women, and the lack of opportunities for her to use her very fine mind. She was deeply passionate about geology and chemistry. She wanted to be someone, to make her mark on history. She had so many dreams, and being Starwoman basically allowed to live most of them. Her knowledge of earth science came in handy many times. She was famous, she was someone who mattered, and she made a nice big mark on history.

. . So why was it that she was the one who had to stay home with the children while Starman got to go adventuring with the Champions? She was feminist, right? Why would she put up with that? Well, first that’s making a lot of assumptions about a woman who could move at a significant percentage of the speed of light. Second, it was about public relations. It was never a secret that Starman and Stargirl had had children. They announced the pregnancies in the Tribune, for heaven’s sake. Perhaps not the wisest of moves, but their new baby excitement knew no bounds. So they agreed it was best if they avoided the press asking who was watching the children, and in the 60s and 70s that meant Stargirl/woman was the one who was “staying home”. Officially, anyway. She was around a lot more than most people think, especially in 1975 after Jackie started middle school and Starboy debuted.
The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse!)
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Commander Titan
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! Starman! Starwoman!)

Post by Commander Titan »

The idea of superheroes announcing their pregnancies in the papers is very cute!

While it's haunting, I appreciate that Starman, for all his power, didn't come out of a lifetime of drag down knockout battles with godlike figures without injury or incident. And the complications of trying to perform medicine on a superhuman body are notable.

Nice to see a proper superhero family, even with some sad ends. Which, to make sure I understand correctly:
-Starman I's powers started to meltdown, so he and Starwoman I flew into space to avoid harming anyone in the meltdown/explosion
-Starman II died fighting Armageddon
-Starman III is currently active

That accurate?

Also - is this a typo, a misreading/misunderstanding on my part, or something else:

"And so they formed the first and to date only major superteam in the United States." (discussing the Champions)

I thought the Icons, while certainly with some international members, were based in the US? Did I misread?
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! Starman! Starwoman!)

Post by greycrusader »

The Star-Family saga is really a great bit of storytelling. You managed to invoke several classic moments from the history of American comics while
presenting them in a novel, consistent context. There are elements of the Silver, Bronze, and Modern Ages, with great triumphs and sacrifices accompanied by long-term consequences. You also left them with an appropriate modern-day legacy. Well done!

All my best!
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! Starman! Starwoman!)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Commander Titan wrote: Tue Nov 08, 2022 1:38 am The idea of superheroes announcing their pregnancies in the papers is very cute!
It's a very Silver Age thing, I think. Something out of a bygone era, that prominent public figures would announce such a thing in the newspaper. Tabloid journalism and endless paparazzi had not yet taken over the celebrity news cycle.
Commander Titan wrote: Tue Nov 08, 2022 1:38 amNice to see a proper superhero family, even with some sad ends. Which, to make sure I understand correctly:
-Starman I's powers started to meltdown, so he and Starwoman I flew into space to avoid harming anyone in the meltdown/explosion
-Starman II died fighting Armageddon
-Starman III is currently active

That accurate?
  • Starman I wasn't melting down, he was about to go supernova. It's a fusion reaction like the ones that make up stars. But yes that's what happened there. He was not nearly fast enough of a flier to get away from Earth in time, so his wife took him instead.
  • Starman II died after killing Armageddon, yes. Died fighting inplies he kind of lost, which technically isn't true. He just didn't survive winning.
  • And Starman III is the latest active, you betcha.
For the record:
  • Starboy I: Changed names to Starman II
  • Starboy II: Went inactive for a while, redebuted as Starman III
  • Stargirl I: Changed names to Starwoman I
  • Stargirl II: Effectively retired from known heroics in '85, last known appearance in '92.
  • Starwoman I: Died with Starman I
  • Starwoman II: Active, younger sister of Starman III
  • Starqueen I: Jesse's wife, never worked out so retired, still technically has the powers and the costume, though.
  • Starqueen II: Not yet active, first child of Stargirl II
  • Starboy III: Not yet active, second child of Stargirl II
  • Starguy: Active. Not related to and has never met any of these people. Yet. Powers from Stargirl II once removed. Somehow. It's weird.
Commander Titan wrote: Tue Nov 08, 2022 1:38 amAlso - is this a typo, a misreading/misunderstanding on my part, or something else:

"And so they formed the first and to date only major superteam in the United States." (discussing the Champions)

I thought the Icons, while certainly with some international members, were based in the US? Did I misread?
The Icons are all based in and citizens of the US. Crusader and Nick are ever so technically allies and not members. Nick's a native born American besides. However, they're not what I'm defining as a superteam. The team part meaning they're generally found operating all together if at all possible. Every member. Like Exile teams do and the Champions did. The Icons are what I'm defining as a supergroup, where it's a somewhat looser alliance. Every active Icon isn't necessarily going to be part of every mission and/or adventure. So they can hide behind the polite fiction that they're just a group of friends with similar interests so the FBI doesn't get twitchy about illegal vigilantes crossing state lines to plan and commit what are technically crimes. They probably wouldn't do anything, but it costs nothing to be polite. They have enough to do without worrying about the Icons being an organized criminal enterprise.

From '68 to '85, if it was a Champions mission or adventure, everyone from Starman I to Countess was there. Generally speaking, anyway. Yanno, like a regular team comic book. The Icons aren't quite so tightly unified. Neither are NPC Investigations (which operates as a business primarily) or the Seawings Adventurer Guiid (which operates both as a business and a collection of supergroups; navigating the laws and politics of over a dozen nations is fun, fun, fun). The Exile sub-teams do qualify, but all four of them fail the "major" part. Major being the recognized protectors of the whole nation or at least a big chunk of it. It's all the Exiles can do protect themselves, sometimes. Seriously, their luck is awful. The Exiles as a whole fit under the group label, as the sub-teams don't team up often.
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Gunsmith I (Connor Morris)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Gunsmith I (Connor Morris)

Power Level: 11; Power Points Spent: 255/255

STR: +3 (16), DEX: +5 (20), CON: +3 (16), INT: +5 (20), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16)

Tough: +3/+7, Fort: +8, Ref: +14, Will: +11

Skills: Acrobatics 10 (+15), Bluff 12 (+15), Craft (electronic) 10 (+15), Craft (mechanical) 10 (+15), Disable Device 10 (+15), Gather Information 12 (+15), Intimidate 12 (+15), Investigate 10 (+15), Knowledge (physical sciences) 10 (+15), Knowledge (streetwise) 10 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 10 (+15), Language 4 (+4), Notice 12 (+15), Search 10 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 10 (+15), Survival 12 (+15)

Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (ranged) 6, Attack Specialization 2 (Unarmed Attack), Beginner's Luck, Benefit 2 (Wealth (millionaire)), Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Demoralize, Challenge - Improved Feint, Challenge - Improved Startle, Challenge - Improved Taunt, Connected, Contacts, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Dodge Focus 5, Eidetic Memory, Equipment 14, Evasion, Improved Initiative, Improved Trick, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Jack-of-All-Trades, Luck 3, Master Plan, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Second Chance (Toughnes saves vs. Ballistic), Skill Mastery 4 (+15 bonus skills), Startle, Takedown Attack 2, Taunt, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Well-Informed

Powers:
Gunsmith Combat Suit (Device 5) (Hard to lose)
. . Combat Armor (Protection 3) (+3 Toughness, Feats: Second Chance (Toughnes saves vs. Ballistic))
. . Cowl (Super-Senses 10) (analytical (type): Visual, extended (type): Visual 1 (-1 per 100 ft), low-light vision, microscopic vision 1 (dust-size), radio, tracking: Visual 2 (normal speed))
. . Utility Belt (Array 4) (default power: obscure)
. . . . Glider Pack (Flight 4) (Array; Speed: 100 mph, 880 ft./rnd; Duration (continuous); Gliding)
. . . . Grapple Gun (Linked)
. . . . . . Speed 2 (Linked; Speed: 25 mph, 220 ft./rnd)
. . . . . . Super-Movement 3 (Linked; slow fall, swinging, wall-crawling 1 (half speed))
. . . . Medkit (Healing 4) (Array; Action (standard); Temporary)
. . . . Smoke Pellets (Obscure 4) (Default; affects: visual senses, Radius: 50 ft.; Duration (continuous); Fades)

Tech Rifle (Device 6) (Hard to lose)
. . Rifle Settings (Array 11) (default power: blast; Precise, Subtle (subtle), Variable Descriptor 2 (Broad group - Any Technological); Custom (Array 10.5))
. . . . Full Auto (Blast 7) (Default; DC 22; Autofire (interval 2, max +5))
. . . . Heavy Shot (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22; Penetrating)
. . . . Tech Grenade Launcher (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22; Burst Area (35 ft. radius - General))
. . . . Tranquilizer Rounds (Fatigue 7) (Array; DC 17; Range (ranged))
. . . . Variable Bolo Launcher (Snare 7) (Array; DC 17; Autofire (interval 2, max +5))
. . . . Variable Dazzle (Dazzle 7) (Array; affects: 1 type + visual - visual & auditory, DC 17)

Equipment: SmithMobile, The Smithy

Attack Bonus: +9 (Ranged: +15, Melee: +9, Grapple: +12)

Attacks: Full Auto (Blast 7), +15 (DC 22), Heavy Shot (Blast 7), +15 (DC 22), Tech Grenade Launcher (Blast 7) (DC 22), Tranquilizer Rounds (Fatigue 7), +15 (DC Fort 17), Unarmed Attack, +13 (DC 18), Variable Bolo Launcher (Snare 7), +15 (DC Ref/Staged 17), Variable Dazzle (Dazzle 7), +15 (DC Fort/Ref 17)

Defense: +14 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -3

Initiative: +9

Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, French, Russian, Vietnamese

Totals: Abilities 44 + Skills 44 (176 ranks) + Feats 65 + Powers 44 + Combat 36 + Saves 22 + Drawbacks 0 = 255

******************************************************************************************

SmithMobile

Power Level: 11; Equipment Points Spent: 52

STR: +17 (45)

Toughness: +10

Features: Alarm 3, Caltrops, Hidden Compartments 3, Navigation System 1, Remote Control, Smokescreen

Powers:
Impervious Toughness 6

Mounted Guns (Array 11) (default power: blast; Precise, Variable Descriptor 2 (Broad group - Any Technological); Custom (Array 10.5))
. . Full Auto (Blast 7) (Default; DC 22; Autofire (interval 2, max +5))
. . Mini Rocket (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22; Burst Area (35 ft. radius - General))

Speed 5 (Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd)

Attacks: Full Auto (Blast 7), +15 (DC 22), Mini Rocket (Blast 7) (DC 22)

Defense: -2, Size: Huge

Totals: Abilities 3 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 10 + Powers 36 + Combat 2 + Saves 1 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 52

******************************************************************************************

The Smithy

Power Level: 11; Equipment Points Spent: 18

Toughness: +10

Features: Communications, Computer, Dock, Garage, Gym, Hangar, Infirmary, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Power System, Security System 3, Workshop

Size: Large

Totals: Abilities 0 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 15 + Powers 0 + Combat 2 + Saves 1 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 18

Age (as of Jan 2019): Deceased in 1992 at age 56.
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 175 lbs
Ethnicity: African American
Hair: Black (salt and pepper at time of death)
Eyes: Dark Brown
Base of Operations: St. Louis, Missouri

Background: Gunsmith is a…controversial figure. On the one hand we have a genuinely selfless hero who saved lives and solved crimes without expectation of reward or even notice, and on the other we have the militant civil rights activist who was never afraid to knock Whitey on his ass. Connor Morris was a complicated man. The official histories have him as debuting in 1962. This is only partially correct. Connor actually started operating as a nameless vigilante in 1957, remembering HUAC and the J. Edgar Hoover’s animosity towards costumed heroics. But after Starman and Stargirl didn’t get shutdown in their first year, he took the leap of getting a proper costume and name.

. . He is noted or spending a lot of time with Malcolm X, especially after his public debut. The two men were genuinely friends, and there are indications that Malcolm knew who was under the mask. It is suspected that he advised Malcolm to cut ties with the Nation of Islam and go his own way. He did not follow Malcolm to Africa, which was the only point after Gunsmith’s official debut the two were known to be apart for a significant amount of time. As such, he was by Malcolm’s side during that all too brief meeting with Martin Luther King on March 26, 1964. Gunsmith is in several of the pictures in the Phoenixverse. This day was key not for the historic meeting between civil rights leaders (which barely lasted long enough for the pictures to be taken), but because Connor had never met MLK (who had wanted to meet him for some time). There was a conversation, neither short nor particularly long, between the two men. It changed nothing that day. Not very long after that, Malcolm flew to Saudia Arabia, and shockingly Gunsmith did not go with him. There is some evidence they communicated frequently via telephone. However, there is also some evidence Connor also communicated with MLK via telephone during this period. With that said, he still flew out to meet with Malcolm in the UK, and was present for the debate at the Oxford Union Society. This may have spiked British interest higher than it would have been otherwise, as the debate was televised nationally due to said interest. Or Malcolm himself could have been enough. It is not known. Whether Gunsmith would have broken with Malcolm is unclear. Both men had changed much since they physical parting in April. The two are known to have had several intense conversations over the following two months ater the debate. And then it was a moot point, because Malcolm X was dead.

. . Gunsmith was about a yard away from Malcolm when he was assassinated. Gunsmith pursued the assassins out of the ballroom, his friend’s lifeblood soaking into his costume. What happened after that is not known. He always said when asked that the assassins faced justice and that he didn’t kill them. He never had anything more to say on the subject, at least to anyone who would share it. It is, however, notable that several members of the Nation of Islam disappeared off the face of the Earth over the next several weeks and that most of them were exposed as working for either the FBI or CIA shortly before said disappearances. This, more than anything else, earned Gunsmith the undying enmity of J. Edgar Hoover and other likeminded individuals in the federal alphabet soup. And then he started effectively bodyguarding Martin Luther King, Jr. Again, what Gunsmith himself knew is unclear. All of his papers were lost in the fire that consumed his manor near the time of his death. But this was not true of other heroes and civilians, and the implications are startling. Gunsmith apparently believed in a government conspiracy among certain unelected civil servants. How vast it was depended on who he was talking to, so he may have been exaggerating or downplaying it at times.

. . At any rate, he was literally in the hotel room in Memphis when MLK was assassinated. Connor had seen enough bullet wounds at this point to know that it was all over but the dying, and chased after the assassin. Who, he said to the end of his days, turned out to be assassins, plural. Polished professionals good enough to surprise a veteran hero (one half blind with rage and grief, granted) and injure him enough that he couldn’t pursue them any further. Further investigation was stymied by his own reputation. After the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy not quite four months later, enough was enough. The 8 most prominent heroes of the age (Starman, Starwoman, Gunsmith himself, Megagirl, Arriba, Nega, Alsea, and Countess) banded together to form the Champions of Justice. The first, and to date, only major superteam in the United States.

. . The 70s saw a shift in Gunsmith’s activities. Far from being solely a street level figure, he became one of the most famous people on the planet. Clashing with supervillains. Foiling terrorist plots. Possibly having sidekicks. No, seriously. There is anecdotal evidence that he possibly took on younger partners. A handful of photographs and a few inquisitive newspaper articles. Curiously, despite wearing similar costumes, based on their sizes, apparent genders, and builds, these sidekicks seem to be five different people. While one of them is very likely a disguised Starboy I (the timeline fits, and Starwoman wrote about having sent her son to St. Louis off and on that year in her journal), another may well be Stargirl II (if it was done for one sibling it was probably done for the other), and a third probably isn’t a young Fletcher but you never know (Morris is known to have been a big fan of Gunsmith and wanted to meet him; the timeline almost fits but Morris never wrote about meeting his hero, which is very strange if he did); this leaves one unknown male (two if that isn’t Fletcher) and one unknown female. Who they were, what codenames they may have possessed, and what happened to them is totally unknown.

. . It was also in the 70s that Gunsmith established his reputation as probably the best costumed detective until the advent of Terrifica. Caviezel and Carla Perkins fail the “costumed” requirement, so they don’t count unless it is removed. This is actually a remarkable achievement, considering that the Mystery Men Era and Golden Age were stuffed to bursting with various forms of super scientists and costumed detectives. He wasn’t the smartest or the most perceptive, but he had it. Call it instinct, luck, or whatever else. He was good, and the Champions valued him highly, even if they didn’t all get along with him. But, of course, that’s just the genuine hero side to him. He did not ditch the militant civil rights activist, associating with the Black Panther Party to varying degrees through much of the 70s. They actually reached out to him in mid 1968, but as previously stated he was uh, busy. It wasn’t until 1969 where he started associating with them on a limited basis, with the murder of Fred Hampton in December greatly strengthening ties with the group. However, as is well known, there were elements in the Panthers that were little more than self-justifying criminals out to rob and murder. And so his relationship with the group was as paradoxical as the rest of his activities. He did, however, thwart the FBI’s COINTELPRO wherever he found it operating (and was key in providing enough evidence of its existence to the newsmedia to provoke the burgling of an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania), which drove Hoover nuts. And he opposed any successor programs until the end of his days. Yet even here he was paradoxical, as after the end of COINTELPRO he aided the FBI in busting Mafia members, foreign terrorists, and supervillains. Gunsmith distanced himself from the Panthers in 1974, and it took heroic efforts by then leader Elaine Brown for him not to cut ties entirely. Gunsmith openly hated Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and their ilk. When Newton returned and took over the Panthers in 1977, sending Brown fleeing, Gunsmith publically cut ties. This is how the general public and historians finally started to understand his particular ideology, and also added to his ever expanding enemies list.

. . Why Connor Morris or Gunsmith never put together or attempted to assume a leadership role in a civil rights organization is unknown. The main theory is that after 1965, scarcely a month could go by without someone trying to kill him, some vicious rumor being spread to discredit him, or his being framed for a violent crime (usually homicide, but not always). The founding of the Champions did nothing to slow this. If anything, it accelerated it slightly. The last assassination attempt was shortly before he cut ties with the Panthers. Well, second to last. And the frame jobs slowly faded away as they became a “boy who cried wolf” situation where simply nobody believed it anymore. But the rumormongering never stopped. To this day it is a little challenging to determine what he actually did and what was invented lies to make him look bad. His reputation was and is startlingly poor for a man who did as much documented good in the world as he did.

. . By the 80s, age and accumulated injuries were slowly catching up, but Gunsmith still accompanied the Champions (sans Starman and Starwoman) on that final mission in 1985. He quietly returned to Earth at the end of that year, and never spoke of what happened. In fact, few knew he had returned, as he made no further public appearances. His hero work in St. Louis continued, but his prior activities were quite abruptly curtailed. There is no evidence he ever met with Starman again, let alone Starwoman or any of the rest of the Starfamily. Yet, without a doubt, everyone who’s studied the man knows that if he’d been alive for Kuros’s invasion in 1992, he’d have pitched in despite being 56 and fading badly. Unfortunately, he’d already been dead for a few months.

. . There was one last assassination attempt that year, and it was a doozy. Broken remnants of every conspiracy he’d ever smashed had been well, conspiring. Former FBI agents, Klansmen, and others who had plenty of reason to hate the man who had (in their opinion) destroyed their lives systematically took his history apart and figured out his secret identity of Connor Morris, millionaire entrepreneur who’d built himself up from nothing. 100 well armed men stormed the Morris manor in St. Louis. The battle was epic, but Gunsmith-no, Connor, had a problem. Nonlethal tactics weren’t working. These men had fanatical hatred and a certain drug cocktail in their veins. They could not be knocked unconscious or disabled for more than a few seconds without causing potentially lethal damage. So the angry, aging hero said Fuck It. His home was on fire, neither the police nor the fire department had arrived (and he knew what that meant), and there were 100 men so fanatically devoted to his violent and brutal death they’d literally taken drugs that would kill them in under a day. So he started killing them. In fact, he killed them all. But his home and all he owned burned to the ground. Plus he was badly injured, with his costume shredded beyond recognition. When St. Louis police finally arrived that night, all they saw was a raving black man waving a rifle around, while several white men lay dead around him. So they shot him. Repeatedly. So ended the life of Gunsmith, aka Connor Morris.

. . He left a deeply complicated legacy that has been at times deliberately obscured and distorted. He’s been dead for 27 years but the visceral hatred he inspired in his enemies is still going strong in 2019. He was a good man and a great hero. He was also an uncompromising son of a bitch who never so much as bent a micron on his own personal principles, no matter how much it cost him. Compassionate and generous contrasting with angry and violent. Connor Morris was a man of contradictions. I can only tell you, Dear Reader, to draw your own conclusions about the type of man he was. However…he does appear to have inspired a legacy hero. Since 2009 a new Gunsmith has been operating in the St. Louis area. Nobody knows that it is his grand nephew on his father’s side. The former Marine Corps Sergeant Duncan Morris. Additionally, shortly after the Endgame Starman III was seen in St. Louis. What this means is yet to be seen.

Powers & Tactics: Gunsmith had no superhuman powers of any kind. What he had was a vast array of skills including being a tech specialist. As a tech specialist, he had a pair of devices to help him. He was additionally an expert martial artist, using mainly Karate. He seemed to have some basic training in boxing and Wing Chun, as well. His two devices were his Gunsmith Combat Suit and his Tech Rifle.

. . His Gunsmith Combat Suit was armored in a lightweight version of modern Kevlar. Considering he first started wearing it in 1962, this is more of an scientific achievement than it sounds like. Kevlar wasn’t developed until three years later,a nd didn’t see widespread use as armor until the mid 70s. Naturally, his was more resistant to bullets than anything else, but it did its job well enough over the years. His cowl was comparable to modern super tech. Lots of visual improvements on the naked eye, including visual extension, microscopic vision, and an analysis suite. Of course, what people remember best is the utility belt around his waist. It’s most common contents were a glider pack in the back (which again it was years before mundane tech caught up to it), a grapple gun to rappel and swing from place to place (which still hasn’t been duplicated by other than super tech), some smoke pellets (these have been duplicated), and a medkit to temporarily patch up injuries.

. . His Tech Rifle was his main weapon, and would be impressive in 2019, let alone 1962. The original model in his first known appearance in 1957 was a heavily modified M-1 Garand that stretched the abilities of that rifle most severely. It has an armor penetrating round, underbarrel grenade launcher, fatigue inducing rounds, restraint launcher, and the vision and hearing dazzling ammo. It should, however, be noted that his base model was an Armalife AR-15 upon his official debut in 1962. By 1969, however, with the Champions established, it was clearly an M-16. This is the best remembered version, as he’d added fully automatic fire and his dazzlingly wide variety of ammunition types. Seriously, this thing spit fire, ice, lighting, lasers, gravitic force, friggin’ elemental darkness, and many more. This was actually rather useful in the Silver Age, as every other supervillain apparently had a specific weakness. And when it was identified, Gunsmith always had the ammo type to hit it and hit it hard.

. . He was known to have a car he called his Smithmobile (in a rare moment of levity from the man) and kept his personal headquarters (The Smithy) in a subbasement under the Morris manor in St. Louis. The Smithmobile had duplicates of a couple of his Tech Rifles mounted on, unlimited specialty ammunition included. It was only capable of firing full auto or mini rocket variants of his grenades. It was also completely impervious to all hand portable firearms of era, barring beefy shotguns or genuine military ordinance produced for the war in Vietnam. It really was a hell of a car.

. . Tactically, Gunsmith had a lot of options. He was perhaps most famous for firing on Full Auto or unleashing another Tech Grenade. A Variable Bolo or Variable Dazzle turned many a battle in the heavier hitters’ favor in addition to his own. Even Heavy Shot and Tranquilizer Rounds are remembered for coming in handy more than once. However, this was during battles against super villains and/or with the Champions. Against rank and file thuggery, he never even drew his Tech Rifle. He just beat the shit out of them with his bare hands. Maybe a rank or two of Power Attack sometimes, but his bare hands. Just Takedown Attack 2 through all of them. With that said, that’s just attacking. He was much more complex than that. Between his Grapple Gun and his Glider Pack, he could reposition at need. His Medkit could get anyone upright again for an hour or so, including himself. And, of course, Smoke Pellets will always have their uses to a costumed detective. He had Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Demoralize, Feint, Startle, Taunt, and even Trick. Also known as all possible ways to ruin an enemy’s day. He had All Out, Defensive, and Power Attack to adjust his caps. He was known to use them quite a bit. Move by Action also falls into this category. Between Connected, Contacts, and Well-Informed, he always seemed to know what type of ammunition to use against an enemy. And just to keep enemies guessing at his full abilities, he also has Master Plan (the regular version, not using KN Tactics) and Inventor. He was never known to power stunt.

. . This build represents Gunsmith from 1969 to 1982. From ’57 to 63, he was a PL 9 with Effect Rank 6 on his Tech Rifle, and no Full Auto setting. His Accuracy was +12, as was his Defense Bonus. His Toughness was, obviously, +6. From ’64 to ’68 he was a PL 10. Accuracy +14, then, and Toughness at +8. He still did not have Full Auto. After ’82, he finally was getting old and slipped back down to PL 10. Accuracy +13 and Defense back to +12. And at his final battle in ’92 he was PL 9 again. Accuracy +11 and Defense +10. It is not known when between ’85 and ’92 the shift down from PL 10 to PL 9 occurred.

Personality: Bluntly, we don’t know. We can only guess. He was rarely interviewed (for reasons that should be obvious to you, Dear Reader), and when he was he was a man of few words. We don’t know anything about what the man himself thought. Anything he may have written privately was destroyed in the fire that claimed his home. The only thing left is the words of the people who knew him and his documented actions. There were plenty of people that liked and respected him. There were also plenty of people who absolutely loathed him. But that doesn’t help very much, as militant African American civil rights activist would do that by itself. Especially in that era. Still, a few things can be gleaned. Diplomacy was his weak point. He was quite intelligent and well read. He had no patience with anyone who would waste his time. He was a dedicated foe of corruption, crime, and what we now call hate crimes. There are records of him performing some pretty dramatic rescues during floods, fires, and similar emergency situations. His courage and determination were aspects of him that have never been in question.

. . With that said, he also had an angry, violent side. He controlled it very well, but there was clearly a side of him that enjoyed hurting people he thought deserved it. There are documented instances of him beating the living shit out of Klansmen, lynch mobs, uncooperative gangsters, drug dealers, and so on. He was not known to mince words, equivocate, or beat around the bush. He was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a nice guy. And yet…life was clearly very important to him. He never killed anyone until his last day alive, and went out of his way to protect the defenseless every chance he got. Even if they were a hated enemy, he still always tried to save their lives first. Gunsmith truly was a complicated man of many contradictions. But he was a hero. That too, has never been in question.
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Icons progress update 12

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Icons progress update 12 FINAL (100% finished from prior removed)

Active List
(100% finished)

Inactive Reserves (inactive for various reasons)
(100% finished)

Hall of Honor (assumed to be permanently inactive by US hero community; this may be incorrect in some cases)
Nega I (Hal Scott) (100% finished)
Alsea (100% finished)
Countess (100% finished)
Starman II (Jesse Thompkins) (Build finished, Background & Personality finished, Powers & Tactics to do)
Stargirl II (Jacqueline “Jackie” Thompkins) (Build finished, Personality finished, Background in progress, Powers & Tactics to do)

And then, of course, I hit a quite focused day or three and plowed through some more. Meh, whatever. Now I just have to tear myself away from Comic Book Universe from Grey Dog Software somehow. :sweat_smile:
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! Starman! Starwoman! Gunsmith!)

Post by Commander Titan »

I like Gunsmith a lot. At first the name made me think of a 90s ultraviolence hero, but of course you emphasized the "smith" party and I appreciate just how many features his weapons had! Being woven in and out of history like that is interesting - much like how you've handled other, similar issues. I know it irks some people that a world with superheroes has some events happen the same as on our world, but, well, history is big and vast and complicated and hard to say that any one person, even with superpowers, could completely tilt it.

His fate makes me angry, of course, but that's the whole point, the injustice of it all.

Quite curious to learn more about the new Gunsmith, when time permits!
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! Starman! Starwoman! Gunsmith!)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Commander Titan wrote: Fri Nov 11, 2022 5:11 am I like Gunsmith a lot. At first the name made me think of a 90s ultraviolence hero, but of course you emphasized the "smith" party and I appreciate just how many features his weapons had! Being woven in and out of history like that is interesting - much like how you've handled other, similar issues. I know it irks some people that a world with superheroes has some events happen the same as on our world, but, well, history is big and vast and complicated and hard to say that any one person, even with superpowers, could completely tilt it.

His fate makes me angry, of course, but that's the whole point, the injustice of it all.

Quite curious to learn more about the new Gunsmith, when time permits!
1) I'll remind you that Fletcher was a really big fan of Gunsmith back in the day, to the point that Morris named his heroic identity after him. A fletcher is nothing more than an arrowsmith, after all. Tells you a fair bit about ol' Fletch in retrospect, doesn't it?

2) Did you catch why Connor never spoke with any o the Starfamily again? He had about five and a half years to do it. It's a subtle little thing, really.

3) Duncan Morris was first mentioned in Caviezel's entry. The Detroit detective is the only person currently alive who knows who Connor Morris was, and he paid a visit to Duncan ten years ago in 2009. With Connor's battered and broken Tech Rifle in hand. Three guesses what they talked about, and what Duncan did afterward.
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Megagirl (Megan Price)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Megagirl (Megan Price)

Power Level: 15; Power Points Spent: 300/300

STR: +15 (12/40), DEX: +2 (14), CON: +15 (14/40), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +5 (20)

Tough: +15, Fort: +15, Ref: +15, Will: +15

Skills: Acrobatics 3 (+5), Diplomacy 10 (+15), Gather Information 5 (+10), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 2 (+5), Knowledge (current events) 7 (+10), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 2 (+5), Language 5 (+5), Notice 12 (+15), Search 2 (+5), Sense Motive 12 (+15)

Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (melee) 6, Defensive Attack, Dodge Focus 6, Improved Initiative 3, Interpose, Power Attack, Takedown Attack 2, Ultimate Effort (Toughness saves), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory)

Powers:
Movement (Array 5) (default power: flight)
. . Flight Boost (Flight 5) (Default; Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd; Stacks with (Unexplained Flight (Flight 10+5)))
. . Foot Speed (Speed 10) (Array; Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd)

Photosynthetic Hybrid Physiology (Container, Passive 25)
. . Hybrid Durability (Impervious Toughness 15)
. . Hybrid Might (Super-Strength 2) (+10 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 419.4k tons; +2 STR to some checks)
. . Hybrid Quickness (Quickness 15) (Perform routine tasks at 100000x speed)
. . Hybrid Reflexes (Enhanced Trait 3) (Feats: Improved Initiative 3)
. . Hybrid Resilience (Enhanced Constitution 26) (+26 CON)
. . Hybrid Senses (Super-Senses 4) (extended (type): Auditory 1 (-1 per 100 ft), extended (type): Visual 1 (-1 per 100 ft))
. . Hybrid Strength (Enhanced Strength 28) (+28 STR)
. . Longevity (Features 1) (Notes: Not quite an aging immunity or even half of one, Megagirl's aging process is unusual. She aged at 2/3 human speed until she hit the biological age of 25 (approximately 37.5 years after her date of birth), at which point it slowed to at least 1/3 human speed. It may have slowed even further in her absence.)
. . Photosynthesis (Immunity 9) (life support)
. . Unexplained Flight (Flight 10+5) ([Stacking ranks: +5], Speed: 500000 mph, 4400000 ft./rnd)

Strength And Speed Tricks (Array 15) (default power: super-strength)
. . Full Strength (Super-Strength 15) (Default; +75 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 419.4k tons; +15 STR to some checks)
. . Hypersonic Punches In Bunches ((Strength Bonus) Strike 15) (Array; Autofire (interval 2, max +5), Penetrating)
. . Punch Everyone ((Strength Bonus) Strike 15) (Array; Burst Area (75 ft. radius - Targeted), Selective Attack)
. . Sleeper Hold (Stun 15) (Array; DC 25; Duration (concentration); Requires Grapple)
. . Super-Breath (Trip 15) (Array; Cone Area (150 ft. cone - General), Knockback; Range (touch))
. . Tornado Effect (Move Object 15) (Array; Strength: 75, Carry: 136.2 tons / 272.9 tons / 409.6 tons / 819.2 tons; Cone Area (150 ft. cone - General); Range (touch))

Attack Bonus: +9 (Ranged: +9, Melee: +15, Grapple: +30/+47)

Attacks: Sleeper Hold (Stun 15), +15 (DC Fort/Staged 25), Super-Breath (Trip 15) (DC 25), Unarmed Attack, +15 (DC 30)

Defense: +15 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -15

Initiative: +14

Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 15 (60 ranks) + Feats 21 + Powers 171 + Combat 36 + Saves 25 + Drawbacks 0 = 300

Age (as of Jan 2019): 74 (chronological) 38 at most (biological)
Height: 4’ 10”
Weight: 80 lbs
Ethnicity: ½ Caucasian, ½ Extraterrestrial
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Base of Operations: San Francisco, California

Background: Megan Price is not fully human. To make a long story short…doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Frozen eggs on satellites. Yes, literally. An alien race took up a collection of eggs from the females of the species, froze them, and crammed them into satellites that searched the universe for compatible races. Because their world was dying, their race would die with it and there was no escape from either. As it turned out, humanity can be compatible. Occasionally. So, one day Megan’s mom Margaret ovulated. Earth’s satellite detected the compatibility, and used its teleporter to perform an egg swap. And Margaret and her husband Jonas were excited to welcome their first child, Megan. This can be seen as horribly invasive and incredibly wrong. And it is…if you’re a human being raised on Earth. That long gone species, with a culture utterly alien to anything we know and under the impossible pressure of facing total extinction, did what they thought was best. Margaret’s fertility was unaffected, but it was already compromised. So Megan turned out to be an only child.

. . She was small, and grew slowly. Naturally, two farmers from Merced, California with no idea of the egg substitution worried about their girl. But doctor’s tests came back normal enough. They couldn’t know she was aging at 2/3 human rate. She went through school, hit all of the usual physical development milestones (if a year or two late), and graduated from Merced high School having done pretty okay. She and her parents, however, were keeping a secret. She had superpowers. So when she moved to San Francisco to chase her dreams of being a newspaper journalist, her first costume was tucked into her luggage. It was 1963. Starman and Stargirl (she hadn’t changed names yet) had debuted two years prior. Gunsmith had gone public the year before. Genuine excitement was in the air that not even the assassination of JFK that year could fully dampen. She secured a pretty crappy apartment and a pretty crappy job with the San Francisco Chronicle (ironically, they thought she was a boy in those early days). Then she put on that costume, and caught a plane. With her bare hands, saving the lives of everyone on board. In those days, she wore a redhead wig to help hide her identity. So with her red long sleeved leotard with red skirt sewn on and yellow M across her chest, she was a sight to behold. Wearing red and yellow in the middle of the Cold War without a care. She even had a red cape and boots. San Francisco’s protector had arrived.

. . Megan was living the dream. Palling around with Art Hoppe, Charles McCabe, and Herb Caen. Well…okay she wasn’t, actually. She was just a copy girl. A secretary on the bottom of the hierarchy. Also attending classes at San Francisco State University, working for the university newspaper (The Daily Gater) and being a superhero around town, she was busier than a bee. A normal woman couldn’t have made it all work, but her superpowers came to the rescue. Superhuman speed got the writing done in a jiffy, which was good because holy cow did Megagirl have a lot to do sometimes. Bank robberies. Ships in trouble at sea. All the car accidents. The police called her in to help find missing people sometimes. And oh, man, Valia. There was a ne’er do well if ever there was one. Megan did not understand why the heiress was so mad at her. But there was that interesting guy at the Chronicle, beat reporter Trevor Taylor, and everything else she was up to. San Francisco was a hotbed of supernatural intrigue, even back then, so Megagirl was busy busy busy.

. . Including calming the riots after the assassinations of Malcolm X and especially Martin Luther King, Jr. By the latter, she had her Bachelor’s in Journalism and was the junior political beat reporter with Trevor being senior. This is how she was in the next room when RFK was shot. She has never stopped regretting not being in the room. She could have stopped it has she just insisted on being in the room. But no, that was Trevor’s job. This guilt led her to be the one who got in touch with Starman, Starwoman, Gunsmith, Arriba, Nega, Alsea, and Countess. Together they formed the Champions of Justice. The first and, to date, only major superteam in the United States. They battled supervillains, terrorists, mad gods, demons, and even a pair of alien invasions. The world owes the Champions a debt it can never repay (not that they’d ask), and the person who held them together when they would have otherwise fallen apart was Megagirl. Starman was too passive, Starwoman too absent, Gunsmith too prickly, Arriba too unserious, Nega too stubborn, Alsea too soft, and Countess too remote to do it. So she did it, every time, without fail. Until that time out in space in ’85 where everything fell apart.

. . But Megan doesn’t like to think about that. The 70s were their prime time. And it was also the now Baroness Valia’s, as well. The two archnemesises battled over and over. Valia was genuinely trying to kill her by this point, and even Gunsmith had difficult in proving Valia herself had done anything. San Francisco’s supernatural problems got worse. Megan was promoted to staff reporter, along with Trevor. She revealed her identity to him in ’71 (in the aftermath of the world’s first alien invasion), and they were married in ’72. It was a good decade for her. She should have been incredibly happy. But she wasn’t. She felt like a hamster on the wheel. It wasn’t that she was dissatisfied. She was living all of her dreams. And yet. Something was missing. Something important. She didn’t know it at the time, but this was the call of the alien half of her DNA. She had thought she was just some kind of strange mutant or something for her entire life, and indeed, throughout the 70s. She had no idea how wrong she was. The Moscone-Milk assassinations in November 1978 in particular shook her hard. She’d been covering Moscone since 1970, as Trevor was the national and out of town state politics reporter while Megan covered in town state and local politics. She knew the man, fairly well at that. Especially after he was elected mayor in ’74 and had more regular interactions with her as Megagirl. And Harvey Milk was a friend she’d been covering since he first came to prominence in ’72. And now they were both gone, because of one angry man with a gun. No conspiracy. No superpowered evildoer. Just the hardest kind of killing to stop. One angry man with a gun. Damn it. Her genuinely moving guest column eulogizing both men nearly won her a Pulitzer Prize, and was read across the country.

. . Still, Megan persevered with the help of Trevor, the fellas in the Chronicle bullpen, and the Champions. It was 1982 where her world was shattered. The invasion of Kuros The Conqueror. While Starman may have faced him in single combat, the rest of the Champions (and many of the world’s heroes) battled his armada and land forces. Multiple enemies clocked her as an alien, and even identified the species. The information in the computer systems left behind after the invasion’s defeat exploded who and what she thought she was. Apparently the maternal half of her DNA was common enough to be in galactic databases. But this was not all. Merced had been attacked by a small force before being driven off by the National Guard and a handful of local heroes. Margaret Price was dead. Her mother was dead. The photograph of Megagirl sobbing inconsolably into Starman’s arms won that year’s Pulitzer Prize. Everyone thought it was because she was relieved her friend and teammate was still alive after the beating he’d received. This was not true. She’d just gotten word from Trevor, who’d gotten word from an emotionally broken Jonas.

. . The following three years saw a change in Megan. She was still the same hero and political beat reporter. But she didn’t smile nearly as much. She could feel half of herself yearning for something. Something that wasn’t Earth and her human life. She mourned her mother deeply. She and Trevor were biologically incompatible. They couldn’t have children. Starman hadn’t been the same since the fight with Kuros. He had permanent injuries, and was getting old on top of it. Gunsmith was starting to slow down. Arriba seemed the same, but she could see the lines slowly deepening on his face. And even Nega’s hair was silvering. Her friends and allies were getting older. Slowing down. And she wasn’t. Then came that fateful mission to space. She will not discuss what happened. Gunsmith and poor Arriba wanted to return to Earth. Nega had the whole Nega Corps to help rebuild. Alsea and Countess were gone. And Megan had a lead on the other half of herself. She wrote letters to Trevor, Jonas, and the Chronicle. Wrapping up her human life for the foreseeable future. Gunsmith promised to deliver them (and he did). She expected him to talk to Starman or Starwoman when he got back to at least partially explain what happened (as far as anyone knows, he did not). And then, Megan Price ceased to exist for a while.

. . She really didn’t mean to be gone for so long. When Nick Phoenix told her it had been over thirty years she was shocked. She knew it had been a long time, but that long? She had gotten her answers about her origins, and had been superheroing around space wherever she was needed. Her goal was always to go home, but you know how it is. People needed help, she was in a position to give it, and space is huge. She thought it had been maybe ten or fifteen years. Twenty at the most. But over thirty? Her father was surely dead. Trevor himself might be dead, as he was a few years older than Megan. She thought about being like Jackie (who had avoided Nick on that occasion) and simply staying gone. But no. She was, surprisingly, suddenly quite homesick. She missed Earth. She missed San Francisco. She missed Trevor. She hoped he would forgive her for being gone for so long. She said her goodbyes to Jackie, ending their decade long partnership, and then started on her way home. After 33 years, the last of the active Champions of Justice was on her way home. She is not aware that she missed an entire year. There had been rumors of Kuros being on the move for quite a while, but she knew nothing of the struggles of the Icons back on Earth. And, in her small one person ship, she was not aware of being Dusted during a nap. She will be quite surprised when she thinks to check the date again, after her ship drifted empty through space for a year.

. . Meanwhile, she has a successor nobody knows about. Earth’s egg holding satellite has not been entirely idle. There is a young man in Ohio, who answers to the hero name of Mr. Superb. He is on a minor superteam, the Buckeyes of Justice, with the bearer of the Staff of Aura Halo, the investigative journalist and legacy heroine Whipcrack II, the younger cousin of Countess (not that anyone knows) Duchess, and the former minor super villain Velvet Glove (he went by Iron Fist back then). He does not know his origins any more than Megan did back in the day, but the similarities between the two and their powers are gradually being noticed…

Powers & Tactics: Megagirl is an alien-human hybrid. As such, all her powers are from photosynthetic (-ish) alien genetics. Though, interestingly, her human genetics seems to have turbo charged them compared with other hybridized species. She is very strong, very fast, and very tough. Her strength is phenomenal. She can crack titanium with a casual punch and lift fully loaded aircraft carriers with ease. Her speed is beyond hypersonic, and she can fly in the bargain. And the only tougher member of the Champions was Starman himself. Seriously. She can ignore the main guns of battleships. It takes something on the scale of a ballistic missile to potentially harm her. Those are only the headline acts, however. People tend to forget she technically didn’t have any need to breathe. No disease or poison could harm her. Nor can environmental heat, cold, pressure, radiation, or the vacuum of space. So, unlike the Stars, she didn’t need gear to go to space. People also tend to forget that she could see and hear further than most people can without gear. And finally, the reason she’s still relatively young, physically speaking. The reason she lost track of time out in space, aside from not having the rising and setting of a sun to help. A slowed aging rate that’s been slowing more as she’s gotten older. She aged two biological years for every three chronological years. So yes, she was physically 12 years old when she debuted, even if the calendar said 18. And she wasn’t quite physically 14 when the Champions were formed. This lasted until she was physically 25, about twenty years after her debut. So, late ‘82/early ’83. Her aging slowed dramatically at this point, to one biological year for every three chronological years, and showed signs of potentially slowing further in the future. So, her listed biological age is a guess at best. It’s how old she would be if her aging has not slowed any further.

. . Originally, she didn’t have any way to apply her strength and speed other than standard punches. Her combat training basically didn’t exist. It was her training with the Champions (specifically Starman and Arriba) that got her up to snuff in that regard. So from Starman she learned proper lifting technique, how to perform a proper sleeper hold, and how to exploit the power of her exhalations. Just because she didn’t need to breathe did not and does not mean that she can’t. From Arriba she learned how to punch at a dizzying speed, hit everyone in an area, or manipulate the winds by moving her arms really fast.

. . Tactically, the last thing Megagirl wanted to do was hit anyone. And with a Toughness save that high and with a boatload of Impervious (even from the beginning), she could get away with trying very hard to talk things out. So she was the type to use disarming, cut down Super-Breath, or Tornado Effect to simply disable common thuggery until the police were in position to nab them. Most ordinary supervillains disarming doesn’t stop, so that’s cut out in favor of Sleeper Hold. Her grapple is good enough to hold most of them. For the rest, there’s Punch Everyone and Hypersonic Punches In Bunches. Just because she prefers not to do violence doesn’t mean she won’t. And that’s about it. She doesn’t Feint or Demoralize. She does have Accurate, All Out, Defensive, and Power Attack, but they’re not super well used? +15 Accuracy, Damage, and Defense is generally enough. You know? She’s capable of doing other powerhouse or speedster power stunts, but generally there’s no need.

. . Her PL has spiked over time. While her Strength and Toughness bonuses haven’t moved, the rest has. Her debut in ’63 she was PL 10. Attack & Defense Bonuses plus Flight rank were 5. They went up slowly at first, and then sharply after the formation of the Champions in ’68. She also didn’t have any of the settings on her Array except Full Strength until ‘69/’70. She was her current PL 15 self by the invasion in ’72. It is not known yet what seeking out her origins has done for her powers. Is she stronger? Faster? Tougher? Something else? It remains to be seen upon her return.

Personality: The easiest way to understand Megagirl is to understand the one thing she has always held onto, above everything else. It’s a simple idea, really. Disaster can be averted. Deaths, prevented. Suffering, eased. All anyone has to do is try. Decades of life experience have worn away any naiveté. She knows people can and do suck. This has done nothing to dull her optimism and faith in the good in people. She is still very kind, nice, compassionate, empathetic, and sweet. A cheerful, happy woman. It’s just tempered now. She was basically a child in ’63. Innocent of the ways of the world. Of all the many and varied ways people can be cruel to each other. It was innocence then. It’s not now. It’s defiance. Her dad always said, you can’t let the world break your heart. So yeah, people suck. They hurt each other for stupid and petty reasons. One could say, if they were inclined, that they don’t deserve to be helped, saved, protected, etc. But it’s not about what people deserve. It’s about the kind of person Megan wants to be. She wants to believe in people. She wants to see the good in them and not the bad. She wants to protect them when they’re in trouble. She wants to believe in love, light, and hope.

. . It could be argued that she’s being selfish. But that’s not quite right. There’s a line between selfishness and self-determination. Deciding what your identity is and sticking to it is not a selfish act. It can lead to selfish acts, certainly, but it can just as easily lead to selfless ones as well. But she’s not a fool, either. She knows that even the mightiest and wisest cannot always avert disaster, prevent death, and ease suffering without kicking some ass. Words and other nonviolent actions are not always sufficient to stop misguided or outright bad people from doing bad things. It’s not a failure on her behalf. It’s simply the way things are. She’s not a saint, exactly. If someone has done something bad enough (like those men did to those women in Vietnam that one time), she will turn her back and purposefully not notice that they’re in danger. She was and is a good person. The best of us. She’ll forgive or overlook a lot. Like, a hell of a lot. But there are lines.
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! Starman! Starwoman! Gunsmith! Megagirl!)

Post by Jabroniville »

Yeah, I'm digging Starman & Starwoman- the "1960s Hero" archetypes and their eventually leaving the game as the new generations of heroes were starting to take over. A bit of tragedy to Starman, who was Superman-tier powerful but not as lucky nor as versatile (Supes was also a genius and clever- it seems that he's the best of BOTH Starman and his wife)- leaving the game a bit of a broken man. Not fully tragic, as he still has most of his faculties, but a scarred veteran with a limp and an occasionally addled mind.

Megagirl is fun, too- an interesting origin story and she comes off as powerful and helpful, yet very of her time. Her missing thirty years is pretty remarkable- I guess she didn't pay attention to space calendars or whatever, lol. You've captured a very "Silver Age" feel for these characters, which is cool as the parts of your thread that I've checked out have read as VERY anime/Japanese video games-inspired.

Interesting how there's only one major superteam in American history- any particular reasons for that?
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! Starman! Starwoman! Gunsmith! Megagirl!)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Jabroniville wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 6:28 am Yeah, I'm digging Starman & Starwoman- the "1960s Hero" archetypes and their eventually leaving the game as the new generations of heroes were starting to take over. A bit of tragedy to Starman, who was Superman-tier powerful but not as lucky nor as versatile (Supes was also a genius and clever- it seems that he's the best of BOTH Starman and his wife)- leaving the game a bit of a broken man. Not fully tragic, as he still has most of his faculties, but a scarred veteran with a limp and an occasionally addled mind.
I see you get it. I like Superman. I like him a lot. He's my favorite superhero. But he's also arguably the most difficult one to write. A good Superman story isn't about the fight scenes. They're not about how powerful his body is and all the cool things he can do with his powers. They're about how mighty his heart is. And that's a hard thing to get right as a writer. So for mine, I split the powers up a bit in addition to changing them up a bit for the theme. Much easier to write challenging situations and fights for your heroes if they're not Swiss Army Heroes who can do just about anything. Though with that said, I do enjoy lower powered Swiss Army Heroes who have to creatively think their way out of problems with that versatility too. It's putting both extreme power and extreme versatility together that ruins any sense of narrative tension. Because we always know. Superman is gonna win against his opponent. It's just a matter of how and when. He'll save everyone, every time. It's what he does. And that is not a bad thing, just not what I want to write about.

Brian Sanderson has laws (Warning! TV Tropes) for this that are really good. When it comes to a character's powers or a whole power system, the thing that makes them interesting isn't what they can do, but what they can't. I've been mindful of that since before I could vote.

Do note how John and Judy passed away most dramatically, and in '93. The same year as the Death of Superman. Fitting, I thought.
Jabroniville wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 6:28 am Megagirl is fun, too- an interesting origin story and she comes off as powerful and helpful, yet very of her time. Her missing thirty years is pretty remarkable- I guess she didn't pay attention to space calendars or whatever, lol. You've captured a very "Silver Age" feel for these characters, which is cool as the parts of your thread that I've checked out have read as VERY anime/Japanese video games-inspired.
I'm eclectic, Jab. I have many, many interests. And I cram those interests all into mostly one universe. Okay there's actually several (shout out to Tri-World, Celtia, the Frontier Patrol universe, and the Team CBH-verse. none of which y'all know anything about but it amuses me to mention here) but you get it. I take inspiration from lots and lots of places. If you'd read more than an entry or two every now and again, you'd see that.

Anyway, I may have explained what happened to Megan badly. Her aging slowing altered her perception of time. If you've got the time blindness aspect of ADHD, then you know exactly how that goes. If you don't, well, it's kind of like having time just slip through your fingers no matter how hard you try to hang onto it, sometimes. And when one has that high of a CON bonus and Fort save, they don't exactly need to eat, drink, or sleep every week which can easily further distort their perception of time.
Jabroniville wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 6:28 amInteresting how there's only one major superteam in American history- any particular reasons for that?
There's several intertwining ones, actually.

J. Edgar Hoover in the Mystery Men Era, the Golden Age, and early Silver Age. Hated masked heroes, tried to destroy them however he could. Military groups formed explicitly for WWII don't count. Then the Champions happened. And then they were gone. The big threats after that were handled almost entirely by Starman II and Nick Phoenix. Britain's Big Ben probably pitched in here and there. And then the former died and now we have the Icons. As for why Starman II never formed a team of his own, you will have to wait for his entry after the Champions finish to understand that didn't happen.

Being a superhero is technically illegal vigilantism, remember? So actual full time teams would be committing federal crimes by crossing state lines and maybe even having a budget for their activities. That's just organized crime with extra steps. It is literally the FBI's job to deal with that sort of thing, and they can't not do so without looking like useless idiots and/or hypocrites. Hence why the Icons are going with the polite fiction that they're just a group of friends with similar interests and totally aren't getting together to plan what are technically crimes. Nope, no sir.

Travel speed is also an issue. Go look at my Master Speed List sometime. The vast, vast majority of heroes simply don't have the movement speed to get cross country in a reasonable amount of time when something happens. If Godzilla decided to eat Los Angeles, basically every hero not in the same time zone would be lucky to arrive on the same day as the attack, let alone in time to help. The Champions didn't really have this problem, as half of them could casually break the sound barrier and most of the rest weren't much slower. So far the Icons have circumvented it by Fletcher being rich af, Shining Guardian and Queenie playing team bus, and being large enough that literally everyone doesn't have to show up for everything. It remains to be seen how they're going to handle things without the former two.

And last? Human nature. Solo heroism is, by its very nature, a local endeavor. There's usually more than enough for one hero to do in their home city. Between that, having a job, and attempting to maintain a social life, most simply don't have the time to worry about other people in other places. Like, seriously. You never see Batman wondering what's going on in Coast, Central, or Star City and do those guys need a little help over there. He's busy. Works the same way for those guys in those cities. Even in Marvel, where almost everybody is in the same dang city, rarely do you see heroes popping up in other heroes lives except by coincidence and the title hero deliberately going for help.
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Arriba (Jose Vega)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Arriba (Jose Vega)

Power Level: 15; Power Points Spent: 285/285

STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +4 (18), INT: +1 (12), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +5 (20)

Tough: +4/+7, Fort: +8, Ref: +10/+20, Will: +11

Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Bluff 10 (+15), Climb 3 (+5), Concentration 8 (+10), Diplomacy 5 (+10), Gather Information 5 (+10), Knowledge (current events) 4 (+5), Knowledge (physical sciences) 4 (+5), Language 1 (+1), Medicine 3 (+5), Notice 13 (+15), Perform (oratory) 10 (+15), Search 4 (+5), Sense Motive 13 (+15), Stealth 2 (+5), Swim 3 (+5)

Feats: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, Benefit (Pacer's Chosen), Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Feint, Challenge - Improved Taunt, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Elusive Target, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 10, Improved Trick, Luck 7, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Redirect, Seize Initiative, Takedown Attack 2, Taunt, Ultimate Effort (Speed checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory)

Powers:
Metahuman Speed & Blessings of Pacer (Container, Passive 24)
. . Enhanced Attack & Defense (Enhanced Trait 50) (Traits: Attack Bonus +10 (+15), Defense Bonus +10 (+20), Reflex +10 (+20))
. . Enhanced Feats (Enhanced Trait 22) (Traits: Luck 7 +4 (+7), Feats: Defensive Roll 3, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 10, Move-by Action, Seize Initiative, Ultimate Effort (Speed checks))
. . Incredible Quickness (Quickness 20) (Perform routine tasks at 5000000x speed)
. . Incredible Speed (Speed 20) (Speed: 25000000 mph, 2.2e+08 ft./rnd)
. . Speedy Dodge (Luck Control 1) (force a re-roll; Limited 2 (Attacks against Arriba))
. . Super-Movement 7 (sure-footed 4 (no penalty), wall-crawling 2 (full speed), water walking; Limited (to while moving))

Speed Tricks (Array 15) (default power: strike)
. . Accelerated Recovery (Healing 6) (Array; Action (standard), Restoration, Secondary Effect, Total; Personal)
. . Hypersonic Punch (Strike 15) (Array; DC 30; Penetrating)
. . Punch Everyone (Strike 15) (Array; DC 30; Burst Area (75 ft. radius - Targeted))
. . Punches In Bunches (Strike 15) (Default; DC 30; Autofire (interval 2, max +5))
. . Sonic Boom (Stun 10) (Array; DC 20; Burst Area (50 ft. radius - General))
. . Thrown Item (Blast 15) (Array; DC 30)
. . Tornado Effect (Move Object 15) (Array; Strength: 75, Carry: 136.2 tons / 272.9 tons / 409.6 tons / 819.2 tons)
. . Vertigo Attack (Nauseate 15) (Array; DC 25)
. . Vibrational Phasing (Insubstantial 4) (Array; Incorporeal)

Attack Bonus: +5/+15 (Ranged: +5/+15, Melee: +5/+15, Grapple: +7/+17)

Attacks: Hypersonic Punch (Strike 15), +15 (DC 30), Punch Everyone (Strike 15), +15 (DC 30), Punches In Bunches (Strike 15), +15 (DC 30), Sonic Boom (Stun 10) (DC Fort/Staged 20), Thrown Item (Blast 15), +15 (DC 30), Unarmed Attack, +15 (DC 17), Vertigo Attack (Nauseate 15), +15 (DC Fort/Staged 25)

Defense: +10/+20 (Flat-footed: +10), Knockback: -3

Initiative: +43

Languages: English Native, Spanish

Totals: Abilities 34 + Skills 25 (100 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 158 + Combat 30 + Saves 20 + Drawbacks 0 = 285

Age (as of Jan 2019): 78
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 165 lbs
Ethnicity: Mexican-American
Hair: Grey
Eyes: Dark Brown
Base of Operations: El Paso, Texas

Background: Jose Vega was a luchador enmascarado. A masked professional wrestler in the Mexican pseudo sport of lucha libre. He had no intention of ever being anything else, until two things happened. The first was a robbery, which he stopped with his mask and ring gear on. A man had robbed the box office of the arena at gunpoint, and like a good tecnico Arriba stopped the bad man with his metahuman super speed powers. It was kind of…fun? And easy? He owned his mask, so he could do as he liked with it. So he started helping out with mundane crime or occasionally rescuing people whenever he had a booking in the area. Just a little. Nothing much. It was good publicity for the event. He got to do some good deed, and help the promotion and his fellow luchadores make a little more money. Everybody won. It was the least he could do, as he was young and still learning how to wrestle well. The second thing, however, was much more fateful. He met a certain tiny woman by the name of Mona.

. . Mona was and is Mona Simms, alias Pacer. The fastest being the universe will ever know. Speed Incarnate. A cosmic energy being becoming he soul of one mortal human. The Avatar of Speed. Faster than sound. Faster than light. Faster than time. The version Jose Vega met is impossibly old and capable of impossible things like running up a person’s timeline to get to a point in their past and punching someone today and hitting them yesterday. They talked many times, even if they seemed to be out of sequence for Jose. But in the end, she decided to grant him a measure of her power. Because he was a good man, and she liked him. It was like meeting God, Jose has always said (perhaps jokingly; it is difficult to tell sometimes with him), and finding out He had a real sense of humor. Cosmic lightning bonded to Jose Vega’s body and soul. And he was forever changed. This was 1965. Arriba publically debuted as a real superhero, instead of a minor vigilante. He has always said it was like being given a holy mission, but perhaps he was joking here, too.

. . It was, of course, not quite so simple. Phoenixverse speedsters find it somewhat…difficult…to break even the sound barrier. Movement speed alone, that was possible. Supersonic jets alone showed that. But the quickness and the reflexes that would go with it, well…it seemed flesh and blood alone was only capable of so much. Without psionic powers, outside help (like from tech, magic, or divine powers), or cheating by manipulating time, consistently surpassing speed of sound remained an impossible dream for all speedsters. Except, apparently, the new hero Arriba. And the infamous Agency noticed. By this point, Dear Reader, you know how they operate. Even in the 60s they were fully operational as they are in 2019. So Arriba’s life got, uh, interesting in a hurry. Agency Agents were able to operate with less subtlety in the Silver Age, and so one Agent or another was basically his entire Rogues’ Gallery. It was at no point a fun time.

. . At any rate, in 1968 he helped form the Champions of Justice. He’d worked with Starman, Gunsmith, and Megagirl on occasion, and he’d heard of Nega, Alsea, and Countess. It was for a good cause, and bluntly he needed the backup. One of the first things the Champions did in ’69 was start dismantling Agency operations in Texas. This, naturally, eased the pressure on Arriba, and he could more easily contribute to the group’s activities. There are two things, from ’69 to ’78, that must be addressed. Certain hero historians, especially of the period, tend to…dismiss him as a clown. Naming himself after the saying of a famous cartoon character did not help in this regard. To be blunt, he was in a similar position to Gunsmith. The Silver Age was great for heroes, but racism against African and Mexican Americans was not so easily defeated as your average supervillain. Unlike Gunsmith, he did not inspire visceral hatred so much as a certain…dimisnishment…of his accomplishments. To put it in no uncertain terms, Arriba set the platinum standard for what a speedster hero was supposed to do and be. He stood side by side with the other Champions as an equal, not a charity case. But because he was both a Mexican and a jokester (before the modern appreciation for quippy heroes) he gained a reputation as a clown. Someone who never lived up to his enormous potential. It is…most unfortunate. And completely and utterly false, as was shown in ’78.

. . Because it was 1978 where his abilities became undeniable. The monster Armageddon. Starwoman faltered. Megagirl faltered. Gunsmith, Nega, Alsea, and Countess simply weren’t powerful enough to do anything except get swatted aside. It came down to Starman and Arriba. While Starman may have struck the final blow that killed the monster, Arriba being the last other Champion standing did not go unnoticed. He had at last made his name, but the response was…mixed. There were plenty who gave him the respect he deserved at last. There were also plenty who thought it made the Champions look like the Chumps if some (if you’ll please pardon the language) “wetback greaser” could show them up. Arriba, as always, never showed any sign of it getting to him. He simply continued on as he always had. It was quite admirable, really. He and Megagirl were the heart and soul of the team after Starman’s injuries in ’82. However, all good things must come to an end.

. . What happened to him on the Champions’ trip to space in 1985 is unclear. Neither he nor Gunsmith ever discussed it with anyone, and they were the only two of them to return as of the start of 2019. What is clear, however, is the effect it had on him. Arriba may have gone to space, but it was only Jose Vega who returned. Broken in mind and spirit. The mask of Arriba was quietly retired, and he has never so much as looked at it again. Even the thought of it made him shaky. That is, until a few years ago when his nephew Diego revealed his identity as local speedster hero Andale to his beloved Uncle Jose and Mona returned looking no different than when she left. Several conversations later, Andale was as fast as Arriba was, and had a mentor in the bargain. Jose does not feel up to revealing he’s still around, however. So when Starman III swung by to speak to Andale, he stayed away and asked his nephew to say nothing of him. Mentoring is one thing. But coming back? He is still not ready. He may never be.

Powers & Tactics: Arriba is a metahuman with enhanced physical speed, quickness, and reflexes. He was further enhanced by an infusion of cosmic energy from Pacer, Speed Incarnate. Arriba is goddamn fast. Nobody without abilities on a cosmic scale has ever exceeded his speed. His speed has only ever been matched by Starwoman, but she was doing it through flight. Arriba kept up with her on land. You know, with the terrain adding more distance and obstacles than she would have in the air. To be clear, he isn’t merely hypersonic. He isn’t merely beyond hypersonic. He could go from immobile to a significant fraction of the speed of light almost instantaneously. It might take him an extra step these days, but he’s goddamn seventy-eight. Some slack can be cut. His speed improves both his dodging ability and his accuracy. The former rather drastically. The list of people who have successfully tagged Arriba with a melee or ranged attack is vanishingly small. The accuracy increase is still impressive, however. Going from minimum professional grade to genuine master level is incredible.

. . But of course, speed’s a bit useless if you don’t do anything with it. Arriba has a bunch of tricks he picked up over the years. Standard speedster stuff, mostly, though it wasn’t standard until he proved it could be. A single very fast punch that can penetrate any armor. Punching everyone in an area. Absolutely pummeling one target. Throwing random debris at high speed. Or spinning one’s arms very fast to create enough wind to move things. Very heavy things, if one’s fast enough. Those are the basics he established. They were not, however, everything in his regular arsenal. He could consciously rev up his metabolism briefly to rapidly heal from injuries. A quick spin could break the sound barrier hard, creating a concussive wave from him that could stun or render unconscious anyone in the area. Giving a target a rapid spinning to engage their vertigo and potentially sicken them. And vibrating in place so quickly he was functionally incorporeal.

. . Tactically, Arriba was (because he hasn’t fought anyone in over 30 years) of Punch Everyone and Punches In Bunches. Dropped lots of supervillains that way. Though truthfully it was Sonic Boom that dropped ordinary thuggery most often. Thrown Item was very useful for flying enemies or ones that were merely on the other side of a big gap in the floor. Tornado Effect let him help out with the heavy lifting duties. There’s more of those than one would think. Especially during rescue missions after hurricanes like Camille in ’69. Vibrational Phasing got him into areas he otherwise couldn’t penetrate. Vertigo Attack was for the forcefield and heavy armor users. Hypersonic Punch was for that rare creature, a supervillain at or near his power level but that was really tough but could dodge really well. Like Megagirl, but evil. Accelerated Recovery was what kept him in fights (like the one with Armageddon) when others might falter and fall. He had Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Feint, Trick and Taunt. There was also Redirect for his own personal amusment. He had both Accurate, Defensive, and Power Attack. As for power stunts, well…there weren’t many by ’85. Most of them had migrated into the regular Speed Tricks array. The only one left, really, was a power he didn’t like. Vacuum (Strike 10, Alt Save Fort, Burst Area). Kind of mean. And the Fatigue version (only Burst Area, no Alt Save) wasn’t quite strong enough for his liking. So they stayed occasional uses.

. . Arriba grew over time, like all of the Champions. This build represents him from probably ’69 to ’85. It’s probably him now, with some allowances (like a Con score of 14 (+2) and an Extra rank of Defensive Roll to keep his Toughness topped up) for his age. His debut in ’65 he was PL 8. This didn’t last the year, as he kept exploring just how capable he was. Basically he jumped two PLs a year. So by the founding of the Champions he was PL 14, and by ’69 he was basically this guy. Though he developed his array along the way. Accelerated Healing was a power stunt until ’78 and Armageddon, for example. The last one to join the array, for the record.

Personality: Arriba’s reputation as a clown and a jokester was not…entirely undeserved. He served as the comic relief on the Champions. Not that he ever looked foolish himself, mind. He just rarely seemed to take situations seriously when the media was around. Because he wasn’t merely Mexican-American. No, sir. He was Chicano. In 2019, the way he acted is a comedic stereotype, but back then it was serious business. Jose Vega knew who he was. The first major superhero who was both Mexican and American. He was both a role model and a representative of his people to the broader swath of Americans who weren’t familiar with them beyond broad stereotypes. Like the cartoon character he took his name from. So his somewhat cartoonish persona was deliberate. He had to seem as harmless as possible to the general public so that the rest of who he was did not get vehemently rejected. He was a luchador. A professional wrestler. He knew exactly how to present himself. A manly, macho man. Full of honor and pride in his heritage. But ultimately harmless to the mainstream culture of the period, which was almost uniformly Caucasian. Completely kid-friendly, if you will. It wasn’t an assimilationist ideology by any means, mind. It was just his way of trying to convince white folks (or at least their children) that Mexican-Americans-no, Chicanos, weren’t a threat to be destroyed. They were a friend to be embraced. Just because a culture is different from one’s own does not automatically make it an enemy. How well this worked, ah well…who can say, really? But he tried.

. . This, however, was not who Jose Vega himself was. He was a good man. A hero. Yes, he was a man of honor, but there was no pride in himself. A humbler man, most would never meet. Neither was the hyper-masculinity his real self, either. He was a man, to be sure, and a passionate one. But what he was passionate about wasn’t women, the way he looked, or even his reputation. It was about living up to the expectations Mona unintentionally placed on him. Honestly, he always felt a little out of his depth. There was much he could do to help, and by the Blessed Virgin he wanted to do it. In modern terms, he thought of himself as just Some Dude ™. He wasn’t like Starman, Gunsmith, and all the rest. They always seemed so confident to him. But he always had doubts about himself and his worthiness. Still, all a man can do is his best, and Jose Vega (alias Arriba), did his for twenty years.

. . Until his mind and spirit were broken, anyway. During the past 30 plus years, his mind has recovered. He can joke again. He has been a good member of his familia. But the part of him that made him a hero was broken. The part of him that paid no heed to danger. The part of him that believed and believed hard in doing good for other people. Protecting them when they were in trouble. Helping them when they were in need. It is broken. He can still run. But he cannot act. He is too afraid. It shakes his mind apart and he does the one thing a speedster should never do. Freeze up unable to move. Shaking like a leaf. This was true in ’92. It was true in ’01. And it was true for the Endgame. Radical Dreamer and the Exiles did not come to get him, only Andale. But he is not ashamed, not anymore. He saw Eddie Guerrero’s tribute act to to him. Mona told him when she came back that she was proud of him. Twenty years is more than enough. So, Jose Vega is out. And that’s okay.
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EternalPhoenix
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Nega I (Hal Scott)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Nega I (Hal Scott)

Power Level: 14; Power Points Spent: 285/285

STR: +3 (16), DEX: +1 (12), CON: +3 (16), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +5 (20), CHA: +3 (16)

Tough: +3/+15, Fort: +8, Ref: +7/+13, Will: +12

Skills: Concentration 15 (+20), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Gather Information 12 (+15), Intimidate 12 (+15), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 2 (+5), Knowledge (behavioral science) 2 (+5), Knowledge (civics) 7 (+10), Knowledge (Galactic) 12 (+15), Knowledge (physical sciences) 2 (+5), Knowledge (streetwise) 7 (+10), Knowledge (tactics) 12 (+15), Notice 10 (+15), Pilot 4 (+5), Sense Motive 10 (+15), Stealth 9 (+10)

Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (melee), Attack Specialization 2 (Nega Bands (Array 18)), Benefit (Rank (Colonel/Commander in Chief, Nega Corps)), Contacts, Improved Critical 2 (Force Bolts (Blast 12)), Improved Initiative, Inspire 2 (+2), Interpose, Leadership, Lionheart, Luck 4, Master Plan, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Skill Mastery (Gather Info, KN (tactics), Notice, Sense Motive), Startle, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Well-Informed

Powers:
Nega Anti-Aging Treatment (Immunity 1) (aging; Limited - Half Effect)

Nega Badge (Device 30) (Hard to lose, Only you can use)
. . Life Support Systems (Immunity 9) (life support)
. . Nega Bands (Array 18) (default power: blast)
. . . . Force Bolts (Blast 12) (Default; DC 27, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Force Bolts (Blast 12)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [10 ranks only])
. . . . Force Effect (Move Object 12) (Array; Strength: 60, Carry: 17 tons / 34 tons / 51.2 tons / 102.4 tons; Duration (continuous))
. . . . Force Shield (Create Object 12) (Array; Max Size: 12x 5' cubes, DC 22; Impervious)
. . . . Restraint Effect (Snare 12) (Array; DC 22; Transparent)
. . Nega Comms (Communication 12) (sense type: radio)
. . Nega Flight (Flight 12) (Speed: 50000 mph, 440000 ft./rnd)
. . Nega Sensors (Super-Senses 18) (analytical (type): Visual, darkvision, direction sense, distance sense, extended (type): Visual 2 (-1 per 1k ft), infravision, microscopic vision 2 (cell-size), radio, time sense, tracking: Visual 1 (half speed), ultravision)
. . Primary Force Shielding (Linked)
. . . . Enhanced Trait 6 (Linked; Traits: Reflex +6 (+13))
. . . . Force Field 12 (Linked; +12 Toughness; Impervious)
. . . . Shield 6 (Linked; +6 dodge bonus)
. . Space Travel (fastest) (Super-Movement 3) (extra ranks 3)
. . Universal Translator (Comprehend 3) (languages - read all, languages - speak all, languages - understand all)

Willful (Immunity 30) (will saves; Limited - Half Effect)

Attack Bonus: +12 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +13, Grapple: +16)

Attacks: Force Bolts (Blast 12), +16 (DC 27), Restraint Effect (Snare 12), +16 (DC Ref/Staged 22), Unarmed Attack, +13 (DC 18)

Defense: +13 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -13

Initiative: +5

Languages: English Native

Totals: Abilities 36 + Skills 31 (123 ranks) + Feats 24 + Powers 138 + Combat 38 + Saves 18 + Drawbacks 0 = 285

Age (as of Jan 2019): 91 (chronological), 60 (biological/appearance)
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 225 lbs
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Hair: Mostly Grey, a little Brown left
Eyes: Grey
Base of Operations: San Bernadino & Los Angeles, California (previously), Mobile in Outer Space (current)

Background: Hal Scott has always loved flying. He wasn’t old enough to get into World War 2. A year too young. But he thrilled to the tales on both European and Pacific fronts of daring aviators. If he’d been born about 4 years later than he was, he’d have been just in time for the first attending class of the US Air Force Academy in 1954. Instead he went to West Point. The United States Military Academy, to be precise. Interestingly, it was his second year (1947) in which the Air Force was officially separated from the Army. This means he was a part of the Class of 1950, who graduated a scant two weeks before the start of the Korean War. “The class the crosses fell on”, as the war caused them to suffer greater casualties than any other 20th Century class had. So yes, Second (and later First) Lieutenant Hal Scott flew in the Korean War. Specifically, in an F-86 Sabre with the 4th Fighter Wing, because Hal Scott was one hell of a pilot back in the day.

. . But like all things good and bad, the Korean War came to an end. The 4th moved to Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido, Japan after the armistice was signed, and stayed there until close to the end of 1957. Hal was a highly regarded young officer, and was promoted to Captain with ease and has recently been promoted to Major on the day it happened. The 4th had been inactivated on the 1st of July 1957. Everybody knew they were leaving sooner rather than later. Hal was able to get a few days leave, and summer was pretty nice in the town of Chitose. There’s a beautiful lake, named Shikotsu. He went there. Camped out. If he’d stayed on base, in town, or just gone somewhere else…no telling what would have happened. Somebody else would have become Nega, probably. Or maybe that guy would have just died alone and forgotten. Hal thinks about that, sometimes. The life he missed out on because he saw something fall flaming from the sky, heard it land nearby, and decided to investigate. What he found was not a human being, and it-he, was dying from several hideous wounds. The alien gave his Nega Badge to Hal, told him to guard it until someone in his uniform came for it, and expired on the spot. The problem with that is that the alien forgot to turn the Badge off first. So Hal had to physically remove it from the now dead alien. Having absolutely no idea what he was doing, he screwed it up. To make a long story short, the Badge attached to Hal, detected an untrained rookie, and dragged his ass off the face of the Earth. Through a few million light years of space, all the way to Nega Corps HQ in an entirely different galaxy.

. . The Nega Corps. Self appointed galactic peacekeepers and space cops. Today, they’re the real deal. Heroes all. In ’57, well…not so much. They were originally founded to replace the demolished Phoenix Corps. The Phoenix Corps were demolished by the man who made them, Nick Phoenix. The idea was the same. Space cops. Emergency response. You know, super hero shit. Nick literally can’t be everywhere, so he split off miniscule fragments of his power, embedding them in crystals, and handed them out to people he thought were worthy. To be fair, he was right. They were worthy. The Phoenix Corps did a lot of good in the early days. But their successors, when they inevitably aged and retired or were killed in action? They were not chosen quite so carefully, and certainly not by Nick. He’d gone off to handle other matters, trusting in the thing he’d built to hold strong. And it did. For a while. It’s an old tale, you know? Power corrupts. And in the end, when Nick finally returned, he had to destroy what he had created. It’s a sad tale, too. Pride, greed, and unchecked ambition. But the Phoenix Corps ceased to be, and the Nega Corps was built to replace it using technology instead of a gift from a god like being. And it’s the same story. The first idealistic generation set the tone. And the next one, or two, or three kept it going. But it’s the same old story. The creeping moral decay of a once proud organization. They weren’t evil in ’57, per se. But they were…cops. Bastards have always been attracted to positions of power over others. Law enforcement is no exception. Neither was the Nega Corps.

. . Major Hal Scott, USAF, knew none of this, of course. He had the “space cops” part explained, and he explained what had happened in turn. To tell the truth, he could have rejected being a Nega then and there. But then he’d be just another Sape lost in the universe, a few million light years from home. The Nega Corps existed in a tenuous peace with Kuros The Conqueror’s universe spanning empire, and it wasn’t worth risking intergalactic war just to return one guy to a galaxy the tyrant had claimed for himself. Hal would have been completely on his own. This was not the only problem with refusing to join up. Hal was a West Pointer. The motto of the Academy is “Duty, Honor, Country”. It’s a little hard to serve your country a few million light years from it, but the rest? He had a duty to get home as fast as he could, and a duty to represent the USAF and the USA itself as positively as possible in the process. And it would be dishonorable, in his view, to not provide as much aid and assistance as he could to those who needed it in the process. So Major Hal Scott became the newest of the Nega Corps. Intergalactic peacekeepers. Space cops. Superheroes. Neat.

. . Hal was already a military officer, so he got an accelerated training program. He was introduced to the major intergalactic powers who weren’t a part of Kuros’s empire. The ancient and slowly declining Nobellian Federation. The staunchly conservative yet ever steady Sionil Union. The endlessly squabbling Borustan Tribal Confederation and their Ingenti Republic allies. And, of course, Sapes. Humans. Homo sapiens has existed more or less in its current state for over a hundred thousand years on Earth. And for most of that time, alien slavers, unethical scientists, or bored rich people have been occasionally swinging through and doing some kidnapping. The number of humans required to sustain genetic diversity is approximately ten thousand. Between cloning and those occasional infusions of fresh DNA, there’s plenty of humans out there in space. Virtually none of whom have ever heard of Earth besides tales passed down through the ages. They’re the fifth most populous species out there. The Nobellians, despite their decline, are still in first. Uncounted millennia of growth simply doesn’t fade away in anything approaching a hurry. The explosively growing Borustans are second, despite the endless brushfire conflicts among them. The slowly but steadily growing Sionil are third. And in 1957, the Ingenti were somewhat narrowly fourth. Sapes have surpassed them in 2019. There are, of course, dozens if not hundreds of other sentient species. However, their numbers and influence on intergalactic society either don’t come close to the aforementioned, or they were refugees with the main bulk of their civilization firmly under Kuros’s mailed fist. These are the things Hal Scott learned in his three years of training and three year term of initial service. He intended to return to Earth immediately after that, but a significant Borustan ethnic dispute (more serious than the usual poradic brushfire conflicts) kicked off and he was delayed. He finally returned to Earth and the USAF in late 1964.

. . The first thing he had to do was resign his commission and retire. Not because he was AWOL (he’d basically been accidently kidnapped, and there’s provisions for that), but because of the Treaty of Havana following the Cuban Missile Crisis, which prohibited super powered people from serving in the military. Thanks to his Nega Badge, Hal Scott now fell into that category. The relationship between him and the federal government/military was thus restructured into a different arrangement. He was, in theory, a paid government consultant on the supers scene. In practice, Nega debuted as a new superhero in 1965, a couple of months after Arriba. He wasn’t always on Earth. Events in space could call him away for weeks at a stretch. One such occasion was the assassination of RFK. He returned a few days after, and immediately agreed to help form the Champions.

. . And that’s kind of the story. He was firmly in the second tier of the Champions, raw power-wise. But he was still a skilled pilot and capable field leader in addition to the powers from his Nega Badge. If anyone was directing traffic, so to speak, during crisis situations it was him. He was the highest regarded in the time period, outside of Starman himself. It makes sense. Ex-military, white, and male. Tall, muscular, and physically fit. He also functioned as a secondary detective, when Gunsmith was unavailable. He was also responsible for keeping the Champions from intervening in Vietnam, getting everyone to agree to wait for a request from the government. Said request never came, and so they never went over for the duration of the war, much to well, the entire team’s frustration on one level or another. It is, however known that Megagirl flew over at least once on her own initiative, and the speed of Arriba could have had him there and back in scant seconds. So there’s no telling except that the Stars and Hal himself never went.

. . He was there for the invasions in ’71 and ’82, both times managing to successfully portray himself as a rogue Nega, doing as he pleased. Once was interesting, but the second time? Kuros’s forces should have known better. It bothered him that it was so easy. And so the reason the Champions left in ’85 was to back him up in checking it out. The Corps knew he was on Earth. Knew he wouldn’t stand aside and let it be conquered. Knew he had powerful allies, too. He doesn’t talk about what happened, either. The result, however, is known out there in space. Due to their investigation and direct actions, the Nega Corps shattered. Rooting out the internal corruption and decay brought the storied organization to its knees, ready to utterly collapse. The only reason it didn’t was Hal Scott. He stayed, and Megagirl stayed with him. Both to initially help and for her own reasons. Gunsmith and poor Arriba went back to Earth. Alsea and Countess were gone. The Champions had parted ways for the last time.

. . Hal Scott has spent the past 34 years rebuilding the Nega Corps into what it was supposed to be. Truth and justice. Real peacekeepers. He took over leadership and structured it based on the USAF. He’s the Colonel, what he officially retired from the USAF as. Below him are a few Majors, some Captains, and a bunch of Lieutenants in the officer corps. First Sergeants, Master Sergeants, Spacers, and Trainees make up the noncommissioned ranks. He has no plans to ever return to Earth. He had no siblings, his parents were both dead by ’85, and he was never close with the rest of his family. He has nothing to go back for. His family is the Nega Corps, now. Though he has assigned Captain Kylie Stewart to Earth, along with Spacer Simon Gardner (fresh out of Trainee-hood) to serve as her partner. His old partner Alan Jordan is one of his most dependable Majors. His legacy on Earth is good. His legacy in space, however, is untouchable. Even with Nega bio-medical tech, he’s starting to get old. Retirement isn’t as far away as it used to be. The complete annihilation of Kuros’s forces has left him with a lot of work to do. The Corps is busier than ever as the Nobellians, Sionil, and Borustans work out how to provide long term humanitarian aid and manage entire galaxies who’ve suddenly just lost their entire political, military, and administrative infrastructure. While they work that out, the Nega Corps is already doing what it can. Duty, Honor, and Country, after all. He’s Colonel Hal Scott, ex-United States Air Force ,Commander in Chief of the Nega Corps, and legendary superhero. And he’s not done yet.

Powers & Tactics: Hal Scott himself has only one superhuman power, administered by the Nega Corps to all new recruits. A customized anti-aging treatment that slows their aging process to one half normal speed. While useful for Sapes, Borustans, and Ingenti, it can make the already long lived Nobellians and Sionil seem almost immortal. The rest of Hal’s powers from the advanced technological device known as a Nega Badge.

. . A Nega Badge’s powers are ruled by how much willpower the user has. They’re also impossible to use without a high degree of resistance to having said willpower taxed. They do a lot of very specific things directly tied to said willpower’s strength. Life support systems, high speed superluminal travel, and a universal translator, as they’re meant to travel through deep space on their own, encountering all sorts of species. These three aren’t tied to willpower, being standard on all Nega Badges, but the rest are. Communications systems (the range is determined by willpower), flight systems (speed determined by again, willpower) and a sensor suite (the extent of which is determined by, you guessed it, willpower). There are caveats, here. Skill and experience using a Nega Badge also play a role. Normally, the range of Nega comms stops at approximately 200k miles. This is about the distance from Earth to its Moon. Hal’s skill and experience has extended this to 20 million miles, considerably farther. The sensor suite is a similar story, and is customized by each Nega to fit their needs. A species that can’t see doesn’t need any visual enhancements, for example. Hal, being human, has focused almost entirely on improving his visual senses. His suite extends across the entire light spectrum and is unimpeded by darkness. There is both telescopic and microscopic functionality, along with an analysis suite. And he can visually track whoever or whatever he chooses. Additionally, there is a basic navigation system, clock, and radio wave reception.

. . In combat, a Nega calls on their Force Shielding and Nega Bands. The former is customizable, able to provide both resilience and attack deflection. They are literally pure force, crafted out of willpower in a way similar but not identical to the way telekinetics can do it. Negas who have great natural resilience or high defensive skill may select to not use a element, instead trusting in their own abilities. Hal, being human and not an elite combatant on his own, uses both. With his willpower, the increase to resilience allows him to outright ignore even mundane explosive rockets and blaster cannons. The Nega Bands, on the other hand, provide the offense. The standard effects are quite simple. Damage. Restraining criminal offenders. Moving heavy objects with pure force. And extending their Force Shielding to defend others, potentially across a wide area. Most Negas use a single armor penetrating Force Blast, but Hal (with his stronger willpower and high ranged accuracy), has elected to use rapidfire Force Bolts. The other three, however, are Nega standard. Hal’s willpower allows him to move objects that weigh over a hundred tons.

. . Tactically, Hal is a by the book Nega. Restraint Effect is, uh, effective in most cases, and Force Effect is a good substitute for those who can evade it. Force Shield is good for protecting civilians. He has Startle to help him it if he needs it, and can Demoralize when necessary. Mostly it isn’t. He’s too busy using Move by Action to stay out of the line of fire. Accurate and All Out Attack get him the hits his high accuracy can’t. Power Attack cranks up the effect ranks for the really tough opponents. He’s not sure he wants to meet the being that’s both an unrepentant criminal and can break out of a rank 17 (because of Power Attack) Snare effect. Inspire 2, Leadership, and Master Plan make his allies better, as a good commanding officer should. And, of course, Interpose is for those his Force Shields can’t cover effectively. Some Negas can do interesting things with power stunting, but Hal isn’t one of them. 100% by the book. No power stunts ever.

. . A PL note: This build represents Hal in the modern day. He returned to Earth and debuted as a superhero at PL 10. Toughness and Effect Rank +12, Attack and Defense +8. He was a fully balanced PL 12 from the formation of the Champions in ’68 to their last mission in ’85. His build has been approximately this for the last 20 years.

Personality: Hal Scott has what is still called “the right stuff”. Courage, confidence, dependability, mental toughness, and just enough of a daring streak to keep things unpredictable and interesting. He has never been a particularly happy seeming or friendly man, and that’s what got him stuck with the historical reputation of a humorless military man. A bit unfair, but when everyone on the team but the former Air Force fighter jockey (Hal) and the perpetually angry costumed detective who’d clearly never been within 30 feet of military discipline (Gunsmith) are known to smile at least sometimes, that’s the the rep one gets. It’s very wrong, though. What defines Hal is supreme focus. He is not a man of deep philosophical thoughts or extensive self-inquiry. He is a man of proper preparation and decisive action. The military man part is correct. The humorless part is not. It’s like they’d never met a fighter jock before, sheesh.

. . Though compared to some, he’s a tamer personality. No flashy stunts, just quiet steady excellence. That’s Hal Scott. He is a man of no wasted motion and no wasted effort. So no, he’s not warm and friendly. But kind? Fair? Honorable? You bet. His sense of justice is strong. His determination is stronger. This is a man who took a virtually collapsed organization that spanned the entire known universe and rebuilt it from the ground up in less than three decades. He’s got the knack for leadership, motivation, organization, and finding the best people to get a given job done. Calling him humble would be, well, wrong. He’s still a fighter jock, after all. But he’s got no problem admitting fault or that someone’s simply better than him at something. He’s only human, and there’s always someone better. The Nega Corps would storm Hell for him. As previously stated, he’s got “the right stuff”. AKA exactly what he needs to make him a top of the line commander in chief, space cop, and superhero. End of story.
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EternalPhoenix
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What's This? A Schedule Speed Up?

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Yes. Thursdays are back on the menu, people. I'd kind like to finish before December, and everything's written now anyway. So off we go then.
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Jabroniville
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Re: Arriba (Jose Vega)

Post by Jabroniville »

I'm eclectic, Jab. I have many, many interests. And I cram those interests all into mostly one universe. Okay there's actually several (shout out to Tri-World, Celtia, the Frontier Patrol universe, and the Team CBH-verse. none of which y'all know anything about but it amuses me to mention here) but you get it. I take inspiration from lots and lots of places. If you'd read more than an entry or two every now and again, you'd see that.
I get this response every time I check in here, and while yeah, I COULD read more, keep in mind I haven't had the time, as the bios are VERY large and the thread got quite big before I even had time to take a look.

EternalPhoenix wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 4:28 pm Arriba (Jose Vega)
And here's your speedster- I do like the attempts at "Early Diversity" in the Silver Age-verse, doing what Marvel & DC couldn't do at the time. I'm noticing PL 14-16 is SUPER common with these guys, making nearly everyone the equivalent of DCA Superman. An interesting take, and man I wouldn't want to be the supervillain messing with these guys. Who is bad enough to take on a half-dozen PL 14+ people? You mention a couple others lacked the power to take on big guns, so I'm guessing some of the latter ones are less mighty.

I kinda like his troubles being taken seriously. Kind of like a literal Super Friends "Token Minority", and probably for the same reasons (those guys were kinda funny but always generically friendly and non-threatening). Cool to see he largely made good. And I do wonder about that story that crushed his mind- was that explained in an earlier bio, or is it still a secret? And is Mona in your builds somewhere?

And I see you gave him like every speedster trick in the book! I actually hate statting Speedsters because of all the crazy stuff they can do, as it's a LOT of typing and cut & paste.
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