Character Workshop - Baeraad.   Posted by Master of Games.Group: 0
Master of Games
 GM, 60 posts
Mon 26 Jul 2021
at 11:05
Character Workshop - Baeraad
Feel free to work on your character concept(s) here!
Baeraad
 player, 1 post
Mon 26 Jul 2021
at 16:23
Character Workshop - Baeraad
Real Name: Specimen # 23 (but answers to "Spencer")

Hero Name: Leech

Mask: The Doomed

Look: Pale; thin white hair; large dark eyes; unassuming clothing; black-and-orange costum with the black fields resembling scales. Technically 3 years old, but looks (and is mentally) 15 thanks to accelerated growth and in-utero learning algorithms.

Abilities: Telekinesis, Superhuman Strength and Speed, Vitality Absorption

Nemesis: Doctor Adrian Atrocious, previously a military scientist for the Western bloc, now operating on his own to prove the superiority of his brand of cloned super-soldiers.

Labels: Danger +1, Freak +2, Saviour +1, Superior -1, Mundane +0

Doom: draws nearer when over-exerting himself, or when he injures innocents

Sanctuary: An aide or assistant; healing equipment; a powerful computer. Easily damaged or
tampered with; tied intricately to your doom.

Backstory: Leech is one of Doctor Atrocious' failed experiment, his powers having begun to cannibalise his own body almost before he was finished gestating. However, with the help of Atrocious' rebellious assistant Verna Valgren, he escaped, swearing to stop the mad scientist before he finally succumbs - if he can keep others from having to suffer like he does, his life was at least good for something. Together, the two of them have set up a makeshift lab in an empty warehouse, where Verna tries to keep Leech stable for as long as possible.

That's all very well, but Leech also nourishes a desperate hope of getting to live a little before he dies - to have friends, to have some fun, to get a taste of what a normal life might have been like. Joining a superteam seems his best bet; while his exact circumstances are bizarre, at least other young superheroes know what it's like to be different and burdened by expectations.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:26, Mon 26 July.

Master of Games
 GM, 61 posts
Mon 26 Jul 2021
at 20:27
Character Workshop - Baeraad
Interesting. The premise seems like the Newborn at first, but I can see why you'd choose the Doomed.

Somewhat relatedly, those learning algorithms sound potentially important. Are there any particular emphases or gaps in what he learned that way?

I wonder if Doctor Adrian Atrocious was one of those supervillains the West recruited during the War, and then failed to keep on a tight enough leash. Something about that name...

How does the vitality absorption power work, exactly? Is it responsible for his condition - or is it what's keeping him alive after what his psychic and physical abilities do to his body? Just how powerful and how flexible is it (can he drain someone's lifeforce in a few seconds of contact and can he not do that?)?

Also, is it classic, psychic telekinesis or something else?

More information about Verna would help, too - how long was she working with Atrocious? Was she just starting out without fully understanding what she was in for or did she have a change of heart after a while?

The intricate connection to the doom is mainly through her, correct? Or is there something else, like stolen tech?
Baeraad
 player, 2 posts
Tue 27 Jul 2021
at 06:18
Character Workshop - Baeraad
quote:
Interesting. The premise seems like the Newborn at first, but I can see why you'd choose the Doomed.


Well, the playbooks in the core doesn't include the Newborn, so I wasn't aware of its existence. ^_^; And anyway, I kind of like the idea of playing someone who's fundamentally screwed and has to deal with it.

quote:
Somewhat relatedly, those learning algorithms sound potentially important. Are there any particular emphases or gaps in what he learned that way?


Well, the finer points of social skills were almost certainly not included. He knows enough to function in society without drawing too much attention, since Atrocious foresaw that he might need to do spywork or infiltration, but he is unlikely to know much about sports, or dating, or television, or anything that people do for fun.

quote:
I wonder if Doctor Adrian Atrocious was one of those supervillains the West recruited during the War, and then failed to keep on a tight enough leash. Something about that name...


Sounds good to me. :)

quote:
How does the vitality absorption power work, exactly? Is it responsible for his condition - or is it what's keeping him alive after what his psychic and physical abilities do to his body? Just how powerful and how flexible is it (can he drain someone's lifeforce in a few seconds of contact and can he not do that?)?

Also, is it classic, psychic telekinesis or something else?


He can absorb someone's energy at a short distance (say 5-10 meters), though it would take him several minutes (or however long an extended fight scene takes) to drain them dry enough that they pass out from it; before then, they will just be increasingly woozy and tired. He converts that energy into kinetic force, which he can apply either to his own body (to hit harder, jump higher, move faster, etc) or as blasts of force.

However, the draining effect is constantly gnawing at his own metabolism too - not to the same extent, but enough that his health continues to deteriorate over time. It always happens a little, just by his powers always being "on" at least slightly, but if he pushes them too hard it gets worse (and no, draining others doesn't make up for it, so he can't just go full vampire - he can't translate the energy back into "health," no matter how much he has of it). Also, if he feels intense self-hatred he unconsciously starts draining himself, which is why it gets worse when he hurts innocents.

By the nature of his powers, he might also have trouble using them if there is no one around to drain (or at least, it might make "over-exertion" easier to reach since he's got nothing to draw on but his own body). Not sure if that's something we need to represent somehow or if it should just be part of the fiction?

quote:
More information about Verna would help, too - how long was she working with Atrocious? Was she just starting out without fully understanding what she was in for or did she have a change of heart after a while?


I think she started out believing that he was an unfairly maligned genius and that his work represented the best hope for protecting freedom and democracy from the Eastern bloc. She became disillusioned when she saw how callously he used and discarded his creations, though, and these days she wants to stop him to make up for the time she spent helping him.

quote:
The intricate connection to the doom is mainly through her, correct? Or is there something else, like stolen tech?


Hmm, I guess I was thinking more in terms of, the technology in the lab is the same technology that created Leech in the first place. Theoretically, some Atrocious-wannabe might even be able to steal it and start doing similar experiments of his own.

This message was last edited by the player at 06:18, Tue 27 July.

Master of Games
 GM, 68 posts
Tue 27 Jul 2021
at 08:26
Character Workshop - Baeraad
Part of the reason why I asked about the algorithms is that the Newborn is defined in large part by lack of knowledge. Spencer might know a little more than the typical Newborn, at least. But anyway, the limited lifespan and nemesis obviously point to the Doomed.

So basically he uses drained energy to, among other things, compensate for his own limited supply of such, but can't use it to improve his situation permanently? That's suitably tragic. As for the last disadvantage, I think over-exertion covers it well enough already, since we've accepted that is how his powers work.

The tech angle works, I think. It's what he uses to keep himself alive, after all. But if anything goes wrong with the equipment or his assistant, it may make his situation even worse.

How long has Adrian been operating on his own? It sounds like Verna joined him back when he was with NATO - or at least she thought he was. I suppose he secretly relocated to New Atlantis after going rogue, taking advantage of its relative openness as so many others have, and Verna and Spencer may have escaped from his lab there. Of course, the doctor will have moved to another location after that, but he is still around here somewhere, working on whatever his plan is. Does that sound about right?

For that matter, do you have any ideas as to his plan, or should I just come up with one in secret? I suppose just knowing that he is still working on this program to some sinister end is bad enough.

Also, is Spencer just a clone in the sense of being an artificial human being, or is he possibly a clone of someone in particular? If so, would he or Verna have any idea who?
Baeraad
 player, 3 posts
Tue 27 Jul 2021
at 10:34
Character Workshop - Baeraad
quote:
How long has Adrian been operating on his own?


Hmm, comicbooks tend to be a little vague on time... but say five or six years? Obviously he had to have gone through Specimen # 1-22 before cooking up Spencer, which I assume took him a while.

quote:
It sounds like Verna joined him back when he was with NATO - or at least she thought he was. I suppose he secretly relocated to New Atlantis after going rogue, taking advantage of its relative openness as so many others have, and Verna and Spencer may have escaped from his lab there. Of course, the doctor will have moved to another location after that, but he is still around here somewhere, working on whatever his plan is. Does that sound about right?


Yep. :)

quote:
For that matter, do you have any ideas as to his plan, or should I just come up with one in secret? I suppose just knowing that he is still working on this program to some sinister end is bad enough.


I'd be happy with you coming up with something, but otherwise, my first idea would be that he's given up on the whole politics thing by now and decided that the human race is clearly too inferior and unappreciative of genius to be allowed to continue being the dominant species on the planet - and so it should be replaced as such and used as livestock by his race of genetically engineered energy-vampires, as soon as he's perfected their design.

quote:
Also, is Spencer just a clone in the sense of being an artificial human being, or is he possibly a clone of someone in particular? If so, would he or Verna have any idea who?


Hmm, I think my general idea was that he was a sort of blank slate, hence why he looks a bit funny... but come to think of it, it might make it more evil if Atrocious used his own DNA as a blueprint for his supersoldiers, so that Spencer is in some sense his son. Might add some angst for Spencer, too, since his crusade against Atrocious might be seen as uncomfortably similar to Atrocious' obsession with proving his genius. ;)
Master of Games
 GM, 71 posts
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 11:37
Character Workshop - Baeraad
I wonder if Adrian has a noticeably similar appearance to Spencer, then. It may be a bigger problem if he has been in the public eye recently. Then again, it sounds like he was working for NATO - presumably in secret, given the nature of his work - for a while. So maybe most people don't remember his (previous) supervillain career too well. But those who do might certainly be even more wary of Spencer than they would be otherwise.

So I take it that Specimen 23 is the most advanced one so far? I suppose that would explain why he was kept around despite his imperfections. Are the others still in storage or were they already discarded? Does Spencer know?
Baeraad
 player, 4 posts
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 12:04
Character Workshop - Baeraad
quote:
I wonder if Adrian has a noticeably similar appearance to Spencer, then. It may be a bigger problem if he has been in the public eye recently. Then again, it sounds like he was working for NATO - presumably in secret, given the nature of his work - for a while. So maybe most people don't remember his (previous) supervillain career too well. But those who do might certainly be even more wary of Spencer than they would be otherwise.


Well, he's a flawed clone - again, he looks a bit weird and fetus-like - so I don't know if it's that much of a problem.

quote:
So I take it that Specimen 23 is the most advanced one so far? I suppose that would explain why he was kept around despite his imperfections. Are the others still in storage or were they already discarded? Does Spencer know?


Oh, no, I figured he's moved on with several more models since then. In fact, I thought perhaps it could be a thing with him to always have a new malformed henchman to send at Spencer every time he shows up. "Prepare to perish at the hands of your replacement, Specimen # 23! Specimen # 31 is 16% stronger than you and has the ability to deliver electrical shocks! Pity about the appetite for human flesh, but I'm sure I'll fix that problem in Specimen # 32..."

ETA: As for previous versions... well, perhaps? I think a lot of them were non-viable for one reason or another and either died on their own or were vivisected for study. But Spencer might indeed have left a few "brothers" behind that he'd really like to free from captivity, or who are brainwashed and crazy and want to kill him for betraying "our glorious creator."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:08, Wed 28 July.

Master of Games
 GM, 85 posts
Sat 31 Jul 2021
at 01:30
Character Workshop - Baeraad
By the way, "if he can keep others from having to suffer like he does" refers to... his fellow clones? (Granted, that is certainly a worthy goal in itself if Adrian is growing intelligent beings and vivisecting them if they fail to satisfy his requirements.) Or were there other victims that he knows of, like kidnapped human experimentation subjects?

While we're at it, has he already clashed with Adrian since his escape?
Baeraad
 player, 5 posts
Sat 31 Jul 2021
at 08:25
Character Workshop - Baeraad
quote:
By the way, "if he can keep others from having to suffer like he does" refers to... his fellow clones? (Granted, that is certainly a worthy goal in itself if Adrian is growing intelligent beings and vivisecting them if they fail to satisfy his requirements.) Or were there other victims that he knows of, like kidnapped human experimentation subjects?


I was thinking first and foremost of other clones. Atrocious is bringing thinking, feeling people into being who will never know anything but slavery and suffering, and Spencer considers that the ultimate crime. But having him also kidnap subjects for experimentation would add some further spice to it, sure. I imagine Atrocious as a mad scientist, meaning his methodology is fairly wide - he'll try every approach he can think of at once and see which ones end up working best.

quote:
While we're at it, has he already clashed with Adrian since his escape?


Yes, I think he's had a few run-ins where he's ruined some operation and maybe even destroyed a temporary lab somewhere, though Atrocious got away each time.
Master of Games
 GM, 97 posts
Tue 3 Aug 2021
at 12:59
Character Workshop - Baeraad
Don't forget to do the backstory questions! I suppose I can more or less guess the answers by this point based on what you have provided, but writing them out properly may still suggest some extra angles or at least help establish the character voice.
Baeraad
 player, 6 posts
Wed 4 Aug 2021
at 10:52
Character Workshop - Baeraad
Mmm, okay, here goes then...

quote:
When did you first learn of your doom?


When I was... I don't know, I guess I'd been conscious for about a few months? I kept having these dizzy spells, especially after performance tests. Doctor Atrocious went over the data and then swore for a whole minute, saying that I was defective and suffering from "vitality appropriation bleed-over" that would kill me inside five years. It wasn't until Verna explained it to me that I learned that people were supposed to live for a lot longer than that.

quote:
Where did you get your sanctuary?


Verna took care of most of it. She still had access to some of Doctor Atrocious' accounts, so she got hold of an out-of-the-way property and we started setting up equipment. Some of it we'd taken with us when we left, but most of it we had to construct from blueprints. So if I ever have to write a resume, I can now put "knows how to weld together a nourishment tank" on it. Hurray?

quote:
Why do you oppose your nemesis?


Not to be a complete teen drama queen here, but because it's his fault that I'm alive. And hell, I'm one of the lucky ones, because at least I'm only dying by inches, and at least I got out from under his thumb. Most of my "brothers" weren't so lucky. Atrocious keeps bringing thinking, feeling creatures into being, knowing that they'll do nothing but suffer and die. He's playing God, and the worst thing is, he isn't even that good at it - most of his creations never stand a chance. If I can put a stop to him, then at least my stupid little life served some kind of good purpose.

quote:
Who, outside of the team, is crucial to defeating your nemesis?


I couldn't do any of this without Verna. She's the one who has some sort of clue what goes on in this freakshow body of mine, and how to keep it from going completely haywire for at least a while longer. Without her, I wouldn't last long - and she understands Doctor Atrocious' brand of mad science better than anyone else on the planet, which means that she's the one person with the best chance to second-guess him.

quote:
Why does the team matter to you?


Well, they're the ones who are the closest to getting where I'm at, you know? Okay, they'll probably live into double digits and I won't, but being different, having a job that absolutely needs to be done and can't be done by someone else... they get that. And that means maybe I can learn something from them, about to handle it all. And maybe about how to live a little, too. It might be nice to get to do that, while I still have the chance.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:53, Wed 04 Aug.

Master of Games
 GM, 103 posts
Wed 4 Aug 2021
at 20:28
Character Workshop - Baeraad
What's a bit striking to me is that Adrian seems to have so many resources available to him still. Guess that's supervillains for you. Although perhaps someone is still sponsoring him, on top of that...

One thing I didn't realise before is that Spencer was conscious for a while before his escape. I guess he was just being used for the performance tests? Though if some do-gooder crashed the lab while he was there, he would of course have been thrown into the fight.
Baeraad
 player, 7 posts
Thu 5 Aug 2021
at 09:08
Re: Character Workshop - Baeraad
Master of Games:
What's a bit striking to me is that Adrian seems to have so many resources available to him still. Guess that's supervillains for you. Although perhaps someone is still sponsoring him, on top of that...


Yeah, I figured it was just Supervillain Dark Matter. 8) Though he might be selling some kind of illegal services - giving deranged people with too much money malfunctioning superpowers, perhaps?

Master of Games:
One thing I didn't realise before is that Spencer was conscious for a while before his escape. I guess he was just being used for the performance tests? Though if some do-gooder crashed the lab while he was there, he would of course have been thrown into the fight.


Hmm, interesting idea. Possibly a link to some other hero in the team?