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Think "Team Salvation" on a lot of highly illegal substances.
When you talk to most people about superheros today, you don't always find a super opinion of them. The modern hero isn't a flawless barrier against the evils of the day, but an imperfect human being trying to cope with some personal failing. This failing frequently interferes with both their normal lives and their attempts at superheroics. Ultimately, the concept is that there's something wrong with the superhero, almost as if the powers or motives for fighting injustice were compensation for something.
In true post-modernist fashion, a few enterprising do-gooders managed to turn this weakness into a strength.
About half of the Unlikely Superheros are a bit touched in the head. Almost all of them took their code names from a Television Show called 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?', more accurately, from a sketch on that show called... oddly enough... Unlikely Superheros. Those that have 'super powers' are usually Avatars or Adepts.
The team's Mode of Operation is to roam North America looking for punks to mess with. They can usually survive on money and supplies taken from their defeated opponents. In the past they've taken on mystic drug pushers, some traveling Sternos, and occasionally Amoromancers as favors to friends in the area; whatever it takes to make the world safer... and to afford enough gas to get to the next town.
Meet The Team
Leader: Sarah Tanner, alias The Nutcracker
Second In Command: Ed Sanders, alias The Jitterbug Boy
Occult Researcher: Matt Graves, alias Professor Panic
Vengeful Bastard: Alex Franklin, alias The Bitter Drunk Kid
Certified Whack Job: Jeffrey Jefferson, alias Fabric Softener Man
Perpetual Wiseass: Gary Lloyd, alias Captain Cliche
According to some, the Kansas Vigilante known as the Bandaged Man is the unofficial 7th member of the Unlikely Superheros, but seeing as how the group operates throughout the North American Continent and Bandaged Man seldom leaves Wichita, this is a tenuous connection at best.
Sarah Tanner, Flying Woman
"I think you have me confused with some other woman with PMS."
Nobody knows where Sarah Tanner comes from for certain, but she usually says Utah when asked. She's picked up various Unlikely Superheros from across the Continental United States, traveling on busses and hitching rides. For the most part, she supports herself and protects the communities she passes through by luring in dangerous people, usually males, and hitting them where it hurts. Hence her code name. Government Agent types don't like her because she's a random factor, as well as being able to accomplish in a few days what takes them years. Oh, and then there's the thing about how her fingerprints don't match with any known person.
The latter is due to the influence of Bandaged Man and the first joint operation between them, in Kansas City, Missouri. The team managed to defeat a serial killer by launching him out of the side of a boxcar... at 70 miles an hour... into an oncoming tree. The police lacked enough evidence to link the murderer with the murders and started blaming Sarah, so Bandaged Man altered most of her identifying features with random magick before leaving.
It's entirely possible that Bandaged Man and Sarah have some sort of infatuation, either one way or mutual, but if so it's unlikely that anything will come of it.
Personality: Sarah can come off as cold and impersonal, but it's just a show for people she doesn't know well; to her friends she is quite friendly... usually. She not only beleives in personal freedom, independence, and responsibility, she's a staunch beleiver in giving selflessly. Such views do not last long in the Occult Underground normally, but normal is a word that does not apply to Sarah.
Obssession: Helping those who are in trouble.
Rage Passion: People who try to tell her what she should be doing.
Fear Passion: (Violence) Death by Fire. Sarah is freaked out by the idea of burning to death.
Noble Passion: Sarah will always reach out, even at the risk of losing her hand in the process.
Wound Points: 45
Body 45 (Wiry)
General Athletics 30%, Bitch Slap 45%
Speed 60 (Fast Paced)
Dodge 40%, Drive 15%, Initiative 45%, Play Video Games 20%
Mind 50 (Suspicious)
General Education 20%, Notice 35%, Conceal 15%, Occult Lore 25%
Soul 65 (Empathic)
Charm 20%, Lie 30%, Avatar: Flying Woman 60%
Possessions: Sarah has a set of leather gloves which have had metal sewn into certain parts. These add +3 to all successful attacks for being heavy. Other than that, she has a lot of black clothing and a cellular phone.
Violence: 4 Hardened, 2 Failed
Unnatural: 3 Hardened, 1 Failed
Helplessness: 1 Hardened, 1 Failed
Isolation: 0 Hardened, 0 Failed
Self: 2 Hardened, 1 Failed
Ed Sanders, Deft Martial Artist
"Hit 'im in the head, hit 'im in the knee, hit 'im in the crotch so he can't have kids..."
Ed hails from Merry Old New England, specifically Maine. He was often the scrawny one, picked on by the older and stronger kids in school. The situation was not improved by his mother insisting on dance lessons for Edward.
She was from California. Go figure.
On the plus side, Ed quickly found ways to use his fast footwork to almost literally dance around his attackers, making fools of them. Eventually he climbed into his own social niche and ended up the typical football star, where his dexterity and speed made him slippery as an eel. Still, he had a lot of bitter memories of being beat up and teased, which motivated him to forego college and go straight into studying martial arts.
While it was tricky learning an entirely new set of reflexes, Ed was determined to the point of obssession to prove himself. Soon he was a triple threat; dancer, fighter, athlete. And somehow he managed to combine the three into a unique style of fighting all its own. It wouldn't work in the tournaments, but on the street everything's fair game. And into the streets he went.
Sarah found Ed sleeping on a bus station bench in Pensylvania; he hadn't thought about robbing potential robbers to support himself as a vigilante.
Personality: Ed is the strong, silent type, but he does joke a bit when dancing to distract his opponents.
Obssession: Symbolic revenge on all those who tormented him as a kid, through beating on the people who torment others in the present.
Rage Passion: People who make fun of the arts.
Fear Passion: (Violence) Car Crashes. Ed totally freaks out whenever there's a car chase and he happens to be in one of the involved cars.
Noble Passion: Encouraging kids to follow their dreams despite all resistance.
Wound Points: 70
Body 70 (Buff)
Football (General Athletics) 45%, Mutant Jiu Jitsu 60%
Speed 70 (Quick)
Dance Circles Around Enemies (Dodge) 60%, Drive 20%, Initiative 55%
Mind 45 (Jock)
General Education 20%, Notice 20%, Conceal 15%, Sports Statistics 35%
Soul 35 (Shallow)
Charm 15%, Lie 15%, Joke Around 35%
Possessions: Ed has his highschool class ring, the clothes on his back, a big stick and that's it.
Violence: 5 Hardened, 1 Failed
Unnatural: 2 Hardened, 1 Failed
Helplessness: 3 Hardened, 0 Failed
Isolation: 1 Hardened, 3 Failed
Self: 0 Hardened, 0 Failed
Matt Graves, Occult Researcher
"Red Light! Red Light! Red Means Stop!"
Matt is the typical Lovecraftian Protagonist who has stumbled onto some things he was not ready to learn about yet. He hails from New Orleans, and when his girlfriend died on the operating table for what was supposed to be a routine, safe procedure, he went a bit wacky. He began hunting down all available data on the afterlife, looking for a way to contact his beloved Clara again.
What he found was the unsavory world of demons and their habits of possessing unsuspecting people.
For the better part of a year, he wrestled with a demon calling himself Morbidio, Lord of Corruption (originally a young punk named Dave Hammond with an insatiable sex drive and a fetish for Japanese Hentai), and while he never actually got Morbidio out of his head, Morbidio was so glaringly incompitent that he could never control all of Matt's body at the same time.
After about ten months of losing friends, family, and any sort of social standing or ability to hold down a job, Matt stumbled into Sarah and Ed. They didn't flinch when he explained his problem, didn't laugh, didn't scowl, and Sarah only punched him twice. He decided that without the chance to contact Clara and the alienation of those he once knew, joining up with the two could be the best choice at the time. Eventually Matt got rid of Morbidio when the team picked up Alex.
He can't fight effectively, he has no magick abilities, and he can't even drive a car. His one redeeming feature is that he can wrestle with demons thanks to Morbidio -- much like a flu shot, the long possession has allowed him to build up a psychic immunity towards invading demons. (All demons are at a -30% shift towards any attempt to possess Matt, and similaraly suffer a 30% disadvantage during control bids.) Matt can easily "pin" a demon in place long enough for Alex to Soul Suck some power away from it, making them a very potent Good Cop, Bad Cop team against the incorporeal. Or perhaps Bad Cop, Scared Cop.
Personality: Matt is a fish out of water and knows it, and this makes him very nervous. He always tries to go for the safer route, sort of the opposite of a bodybag.
Obssession: Getting the demon-possession monkey off of his back for good.
Rage Passion: Demons. A demon ruined his life and as scared as Matt is, he wants vengeance on all the devious dead.
Fear Passion: (The Unnatural) Unnatural Creatures. Golems, Unspeakable Servants, Clockworks, Revenants, all of them send him running screaming into the night.
Noble Passion: Matt sympathizes with anyone who has lost a loved one and will do a little extra for them.
Wound Points: 40
Body 40 (Wiry)
General Athletics 25%, Struggle 15%, Climbing 15%, Swimming 15%
Speed 70 (Spastic)
Dodge 35%, Run Like Hell 45%, Initiative 55%
Mind 50 (Nervous)
General Education 20%, Occult Knowledge 40%, Conceal 15%, Notice 20%
Soul 60 (Scarred)
Charm 15%, Lie 15%, Demon Invocation and Evocation 60%
Possessions: Matt has a locket with a picture of Clara inside it. Losing it is a Rank 6 Helplessness Challenge. Matt also possesses two rituals, one is a demon blocking ritual that needs some colored chalk and seven live sparrows. The other requires two twigs and a drop of blood from a mouse, and all it does is make a small flash of light for a split second.
Violence: 0 Hardened, 3 Failed
Unnatural: 1 Hardened, 5 Failed
Helplessness: 0 Hardened, 4 Failed
Isolation: 0 Hardened, 3 Failed
Self: 0 Hardened, 0 Failed
Alex Franklin, Sullen Dipsomancer
"Don' TOUCH me, you... guy!"
Alex's story is simple. When he was 17, his parents were in a car accident with a drunk driver being the offending party. Both died. Alex gave up on life like the snap of a finger and turned, ironically, to alcohol in order to numb the pain. He left his old life behind, drizzling away his inheritance on alcoholic beverages. Then he met a liquor mage who showed him that liquor could make you feel good as well as stop you from feeling bad.
So Alex started roaming the underground. He managed to get a significant vessel through some process he refuses to discuss, but the thing looks like a religious chalice of some sort, giving some vague hints as to its origin. He was cruising Colorado for wayward spirits when he met the Unlikely Superheros at a bus stop in Denver. In exchange for the opportunity to get back symbolically at all the drunk drivers of the world, he helped get rid of Matt's unwanted spiritual passenger. The two of them make an excellent tag team against demons and even some adepts.
It's worth noting that despite Bandaged Man's hatred of alcohol and all who consume it, he and Alex get along rather well. That is to say, none of their fights have been lethal. Yet. Bandaged Man pretends that Alex doesn't exist unless presently working with him, while Alex is the opposite, very vocal about how big a prick Bandaged Man is.
Personality: Alex is angry. Very, very angry. Angry at the world, angry at himself, angry at a lot of things. The rest of the team is used to him losing his temper with no apparent reason.
Obssession: (Dipsomancy) Demon Cocktails. Alex is hoping that one day he can find the soul of the drunk driver who killed his parents as a demon, and drink it down in a final act of revenge.
Rage Passion: Drunk Drivers. Making an ass of yourself or being falling down drunk is fine, but those who mix alcohol and motor vehicles taste some of Alex's wrath.
Fear Passion: (Self) Disapointment. Alex is scared that his parents, wherever they are, think of him as a disgrace to the family for the way his life has turned out.
Noble Passion: Oddly enough, Alex has a lot of respect for people who get on the wagon and stay sober. He won't follow them, but he will help them out if they need a boost.
Wound Points: 45
Body 45 (Wasted)
General Athletics 15%, Struggle 30%, Hold My Liquor 30%
Speed 45 (Slurred)
Dodge 30%, Bicycling 30%, Initiative 35%
Mind 60 (Sharp)
General Education 25%, Conceal 35%, Notice 35%, Japanese Anime Trivia 10%
Soul 70 (Driven)
Charm 15%, Lie 30%, Magick: Dipsomancy 55%
Possessions: A significant vessel, a hip flask, and a big brown overcoat that makes him look like a potential flasher.
Violence: 3 Hardened, 0 Failed
Unnatural: 2 Hardened, 1 Failed
Helplessness: 0 Hardened, 1 Failed
Isolation: 0 Hardened, 1 Failed
Self: 3 Hardened, 0 Failed
Jeffrey Jefferson, Crazy Superhero Avatar
"Hahaha! I can wash out these blood stains with ease, punks!"
Yes, Jeff is crazy. Crazy like a fox. He's heard of this guy named The Detective and how there was a big ruckus involving vigilante justice on a grand scale, in Seattle or Chicago or something. While he's not long on practical approaches to goals, he's got a vivid imagination and drive, and that was all it took for him to become Fabric Softener Man, Defender of the Innocent, Enemy of Starch and Static Cling.
Yes, he knows how stupid that sounds. That's the point.
Jeff's costumed atire looks ridiculous for a specific reason; to throw off his opponents. They underestimate him from the first moment, allowing him to gain the upper hand at a crucial point. Through years of theatrical work in elementary and high school, and all of one year of college, Jeff's garnered a good grasp of what people do and do not expect in certain situations. He's not always the best fighter, but that's why he messes with his opponents as opposed to just going mano a mano.
Jeff was at this for several months, acquiring scorn, derision, and a strong underground support in the police department of his native Boise, when he started noticing that some parts of his job were becoming easier. The superhero role was easier to get into and out of, while getting shot or punched didn't slow him down as much. He has a vague idea of what's going on, but doesn't really understand Avatars or Archetypes yet.
The Unlikely Superheroes saw him go toe-to-toe with two hitmen and a Doberman and come out on top despite multiple bites and two bullet wounds. (Except for Matt. He was off hiding someplace safe, as per his custom.) They were so impressed that they offered him a position on the team, wacky costume or not. After a week recovering and a rabies test, he agreed to join up.
Personality: As Jeffrey Jefferson, Jeff is a fairly modest, unassuming type, the kind who sat alone at lunch and never interracted in the classroom as a kid. On the stage or in his superhero guise, he's ridiculously flamboyant, sometimes deliberately overracting. Think William Shatner in Airplane 2: The Sequel.
Obssession: Living up to the ideals of his youth.
Rage Passion: Letting the bad guys get away.
Fear Passion: (Violence) Snakes. Poisonous or not, they scare the shit out of him. The situation has degraded to where snakes are an acute phobia; when and if Jeff gets his Superheroic Third Channel ability, this will counteract it.
Noble Passion: Proving that all of the cynics of the modern world are wrong.
Wound Points: 55
Body 50 (Tough)
General Athletics 35%, Knock Your Punk Ass Down 30%, Hold My Breath 15%
Speed 50 (Smooth)
Dodge 30%, Drive 20%, Initiative 30%, Snatch 30%
Mind 50 (Typical)
General Education 30%, Conceal 30%, Notice 35%
Soul 70 (Artistically Inclined)
Acting 30% Charm 15%, Lie 15%, Avatar: The Superhero 55%
Possessions: A superhero outfit consisting of a decorated sweat suit with kevlar sewn into the torso (front and back), heavy gloves, a steel cup, army surplus boots, a ski mask, and an army surplus helmet covered with plastic from bottles of -- you guessed it -- fabric softener. Jeff is usually armed with a police baton.
Jeff's Secret Hideout used to be an old fallout shelter outside of the city, filled with old washing machines and dryers, as well as emergency supplies and weapons. He called it the Laundromat. Since he went mobile with the rest of the Unlikely Superheroes, the Laundromat has fallen into disuse, but it remains undiscovered so far, so the team might be able to use it as a safe house if they're ever in Idaho. At the moment, Jeff's hideout is the Ordinary Recreational Vehicle.
Violence: 5 Hardened, 5 Failed
Unnatural: 1 Hardened, 0 Failed
Helplessness: 3 Hardened, 1 Failed
Isolation: 1 Hardened, 1 Failed
Self: 3 Hardened, 0 Failed
Disorder: Acute Phobia of Snakes
Gary Lloyd, Sarcastic Inventor
"I like your shirt. And its contents."
There's one in every superhero team. For the Justice League, it was the Flash. For the X-Men, it was Iceman (at some point). The guy who, despite his prowess in doing what is right, never knows when to keep his stupid trap shut. For the Unlikely Superheroes, Gary is that guy.
Gary was incorrectly diagnosed as autistic when he was seven, due to his slow language development and keen interest in anything mechanical or electrical, and so his childhood was a little bit skewed from that point on. Around ten, the mistake was corrected, but that still didn't change the past. It also had an unwanted effect on his future; all the way up to high school graduation, he was the receiving end of many jokes, pranks, and insults, not the least was his nickname, Short Bus Gary.
As a direct response, Gary became driven to prove himself smarter than anyone else in the school, or for that matter, the town. Or the state. Or the country. He tore into science and mathematics like a starving pit bull on a pork chop. By the time he graduated and headed to college, he could do differential calculus in his head. He's studied chemistry, biology, engineering, metallurgy, and electronics, and read every book he could get his hands on.
In short, he's pretty damned smart.
This has come at a price, however. He can't fight well, he's not physically impressive by any means, and his social skills are abysmal. So like all inventors, he's had to work around the problems he isn't able to solve.
He tended to blow off steam by building remote controlled robots made from old appliances and sending them through the alleys of Lincoln, Nebraska (he never met or heard of the man who would eventually become the Bandaged Man in that time) to sic them on muggers, thugs, and rapists. It was fun, but not satisfying enough, so Gary practically jumped at the chance to join the Unlikely Superheros. He even went out on a limb and built the team's first transport and mobile base, the 'Unassuming Van'. (The Van met an unfortunate demise in the fight against the serial killer in Missouri. Since then Gary has improved upon his previous work and built the 'Ordinary Recreational Vehicle' as a replacement. The second vehicle shares some parts that were salvaged from the first.)
Gary's biggest advantage is his gadgetry. He always has tools for every occasion, ranging from picking locks to scaling walls to tracking devices and eavesdropping bugs. His pride and joy are his robots, either the remote controlled ones or the independent ones. They function about on the level of minor clockworks, but are distinctly non-magickal. On the other hand, Gary's biggest disadvantage is his big mouth. On more than one occasion, his sarcasm has written checks that his gadgets couldn't cash.
Personality: Gary isn't as bitter and angry as Alex, but he's sometimes sullen enough to make up the difference. He's easily dissillusioned with his job, going around trying to help people; after all, nobody helped HIM when he needed it.
Obssession: To prove his intellectual superiority.
Rage Passion: Psychiatrists. So called mental health proffesionals dropped the ball with Gary years ago, and he's never forgotten. He puts psychology, psychiatry, and counseling in the same category as astrology. Needless to say, he's resistant to therapy, in the way that sending remote controlled blenders into the office to set everything on fire is 'resistant'.
Fear Passion: (Violence) Head Trauma. Gary's whole life is based around his intellectual skill, and anything that could take that from him is frightening. This constitutes his weakness as a Superhero Avatar; all hand to hand hits to the head do double normal damage.
Noble Passion: Friendship. The Unlikely Superheros are Gary's only real friends. Ever. Any one of them who ever needs backup, an organ transplant, or some furniture moved need only ask.
Wound Points: 40
Body 40 (Skinny)
General Athletics 20%, Struggle 20%, Study All Night 30%
Speed 40 (Sluggish)
Dodge 20%, Drive 40%, Initiative 20%
Mind 95 (Brilliant)
Masters in Particle Physics (General Education) 50%, Invent Gadgets and Robots 35%, Lockpicking 30%, Conceal 15%, Notice 25%
Soul 45 (Scarred)
Charm 15%, Lie 15%, Avatar: The Superhero 45%
Possessions: Around sixty handheld gadgets with various functions. Half a dozen small robots. Official ownership of the Ordinary Recreational Vehicle.
Gary is working on a Heinlein-esque powered armor suit which will make him more formidable in combat. When completed, this suit will improve his strength and speed by 10 each, and allow for +20% shifts to General Athletics Checks. Hand to hand damage will go up by +6, because his fists will qualify as both big and heavy under all that metal and hydraulic force. However, all attempts to hit or shoot him get a +20% shift because, hey, the armor makes him a bigger target. The armor will be powered by an internal combustion engine and will need to be refueled every 3 hours of operation, which may prove expensive considering gas prices. (Whether Gary has the suit up and running in any given campaign is the GM's call.)
For the purposes of the Superhero Avatar, Gary's secret hideout is the vehicle known as the Ordinary Recreational Vehicle.
Violence: 7 Hardened, 3 Failed
Unnatural: 0 Hardened, 1 Failed
Helplessness: 2 Hardened, 2 Failed
Isolation: 1 Hardened, 4 Failed
Self: 3 Hardened, 2 Failed
I couldn't freaking concentrate on my psychology materials for the final exam, so I decided to get this out of the way. Constructive Criticism is welcomed -- personal insults should be directed to my arch nemesis, Carrot Top.
Excellent. A brilliant encore to the Bandaged Man. If you don't mind, I would like to incorporate these guys a little bit into my explaination of The Detective and the Masked Ones, when I finally put it up. These would be flavor additions, only, such as ways in which the two teams may have interacted with one another.
Well, the powers thing has yet to be resolved, since it'll be a while before FS Man can obtain anything exceptional. I suspect that to combine his love of acting, his ridiculous costume, and his wacky fighting style, he'd seem to develop a sort of "Pratfall Field" around him that would cause the fight to become ridiculously amusing in a certain radius. It'd be a lot like the Videomancy spell Laff Riot, only slightly more dangerous, except it wouldn't be a manipulation of reality; his fighting style would just become an invitation for hilarity.
I now understand FS Man's fighting Style. I also can't get enough of Jackie Chan.
Matt Graves is officially stolen BTW, love the character.
Bah. *slaps forehead*