Saturday, June 4, 2016

Making MHR Characters: Gargoyle (ANOHotMU #4)

The Defenders are weird, even for Marvel.

They aren't a team so much as a slightly-less-than-loose affiliation of loners, B-listers, newcomers and oddballs. Their membership has included Cloud who is . . . well, a cloud, Doctor Strange (when he's not busy), Valkyrie, who's basically Thor with a torpedo bra and a spear, faux-Batman Nighthawk, the Son of Satan and the Hulk, Overmind, the collective consciousness of an entire planet, Interloper, one of the not-cool-enough-for-prime-time Eternals and Manslaughter, a serial killer. That's before we start in with Daredevil, Angel, Iceman, Professor X, Silver Surfer, Hellcat, Hercules and various others who came through the group at various points. I mean, that's not a team, that's what you find at the bottom of your box of action figures after moving across country and everything's shaken up and moved around.

Their villains included Ruby Tuesday, who replace her head with a red-colored, pearl-shaped supercomputer. She was the leader of the Headmen, whose members included a plastic surgeon who'd transplanted his head onto the body of a gorilla, a mad scientist who shrank only his skeleton, and Chondu the Mystic, who once almost ended up with his transplanted on She-Hulk's body.

And they're one of the more normal villains.

Anyhow, they're weird, but they were also one of the major avenues for Marvel writers who wanted to play in the Marvel Universe's deep, well-stocked toybox of occult and demonic plotlines. While neglected for a while, during the reign of the Comics Code Authority (see Fury entry), it came back with a vengeance in the mid-70s through the mid-80s. Gargoyle came into the comics right around the emergence of the Six-Fingered Hand, a group of six minor demons who figured that they could add themselves up to equal one demon lord, if they played their cards right.

Isaac Christians, the well-meaning mayor of the town of Christiansboro, makes a Faustian pact with the Six-Fingered Hand. He'll work for them for a while, and in exchange, they'll show him how to save his suffering town, which is on the verge of economic collapse as factories close. Yes, that's right, the man makes a deal with the devil because of Reaganomics.

Anyhow, he's jammed into the body of The Gargoyle, one of the Six-Fingered Hand's minions and . . . *looks at the actual chronological series of events* uh, is a bad guy for a while until he decides to be a good guy. Yay!

That's a crummy summary, but, well, this is a character with a long history whose been through a few rewrites. His abilities have actually stayed remarkably consistent - flight, super-strength, durability and "bio-energy" powers. That's basically the ability to manipulate the energies that are, like, all around us.

I chose to build them as two separate power suites because the powers he derives from his Gargoyle body are specific to the body, while the bio-energy abilities are unique to the synthesis of The Gargoyle and Isaac Christians.

Solo 1d8
Buddy 1d6
Team 1d10

Friend of the Defenders
Old Hand
Redeemed Soul

Gargoyle Body
Enhanced Strength 1d8
Flight 1d8
Superhuman Durability 1d10
SFX: Immunity - Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma or complications from poison, disease or fatigue.
Limit: Conscious Activation - If stressed out, asleep, or unconscious, shut down Gargoyle Form. Recover Gargoyle Form when stress is recovered or on waking.
Limit: Devil Child - Turn any Gargoyle Form power into a complication and gain 1 PP. Activate an opportunity or remove the complication to recover the power.

Bio-Energy Manipulation
Bio-Energy Blasts 1d8
Drain Life 1d8
Healing Breath 1d10
Mystic Resistance 1d10
Psychic Resistance 1d8
SFX: Multipower - Use two or more Bio-Energy Manipulation powers in a single dice pool at -1 step for each additional power.
SFX: Mystic Healing - Add Healing Breath to your dice pool when helping others recover stress. Spend 1 PP to recover another’s mental stress or step back another’s mental trauma by -1.
SFX: Mystic Shields - Add 1d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when using Gargoyle Form to create assets or stunts to block a mystical attack.
SFX: Soul-Draining - Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when using Drain Life to inflict complications on a target.
Limit: Exhausted - Shutdown any Bio-Energy Manipulation power to gain 1 PP. Rcover power by activating an opportunity or during a transition scene.
Limit: Linked - Shut down Bio-Energy Manipulation whenever Gargoyle Body is shut down. Recover Bio-Energy Manipulation when Gargoyle Body is recovered.

Business Expert 1d8
Medical Expert 1d8
Mystic Expert 1d8
Psych Expert 1d8

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