Argonauts – Bright Star

June 12, 2018

A psychic character can be used for all sorts of interesting builds and useful powers for a team.  I will admit that this is a reskin of an existing idea because when I went back and was pulling characters out to use, a fiery bird of prey inspired telepath and telekinetic seemed a little too derivative even for me. Naming conventions for psychic heroes and villains in comic books will often revolve around some sort of mind or brain reference, or just using “psi” in place of “si” in a word.  Those are pretty well taken by the existing comic companies. Instead, Bright Star, or Estrele Brilhante, is a Power Level 11 character that came in on Volume II of the comic book series about the same time as Titan whose name refers to the bright manifestations of her psychic power. Because this is a reskin, I also don’t have a sketch from my youth for you to laugh at, so we will just have to use our imaginations.  

System Notes

Bright Star’s abilities are going to be pretty low over all.  I am going to focus most of her points into her mental powers.  Instead of focusing on the Intellectual side of many psionics, I am going to go ahead and make the Awareness and Presence at 5.  She will have a strong force of will, but isn’t a braniac like Atomic Avenger.

Moving on to what is going to be the main part of our work here – Powers! I used an Array, a collected list of Alternate Effects, for the different kinds of energy blasts that Atomic Avenger would frequently use, but another way to use an Array is to make it a Dynamic Array.  This lets you balance the total number of points between the different Alternate Effects in the power block. Instead of going all or nothing, a dynamic array gives you a little more flexibility but costs 2 points per alternate effect instead of 1. For Bright Star’s Telekinetic powers, I built a Teke-er Dynamic Array.  Telekinetic powers cover a lot of options, so I looked at using it for Flight, Protection, a Blast, and classic Telekinetic manipulation. Beyond that, I added some specialized slots like a Penetrating Blast or a Broader TK Force Field to protect others. Because it is a dynamic array, Bright Star can have her full TK Shield up and still have a few points of Levitation to stay mobile. These are all bright and colorful manifestations of her Telekinesis, so the overall Array has the Noticeable effect.  There is no sneaking around with the bright and colorful representations of the Telekinetic powers on display.

COnversely, I am putting the telepathy powers into a standard Array, Tepe-er, because they are not often going to be persistent or ongoing. A lot of the powers here are single shot attacks.  A common advantage for Mutants and Masterminds psychic powers is to give an attack an Alternate Defense – Will. Most heros will have a lower Will defense compared to Fortitude or Toughness. A Psychic Blast or Psynaptic Shutdown won’t be defended with Toughness so we add an advantage to go against the less common defense.  Finally, look at Mind Control which is an Affliction power to put Dazed, Compelled, and Controlled onto a character but it limited to a perception range and can take a while.

Outside of the two Arrays, I put three general utility powers – Mind Net which is an advantaged Communication to allow Bright Star to act as a mental command and control for The Argonauts; Linguistic Telepathy allowing a Comprehend Languages power based on telepathy; and Mental Leech which is the Advantage Beginners Luck that allows a way to try any skill but the special effect here is “borrowing” the knowledge from someone within her range. Since she can Mind Net across an entire country, I didn’t actually take any points back in that build.

The other three advantages are all based on Psychic Powers as well – Uncanny Dodge is a danger sense sort of ability but Bright Star can pick up on the hostile intent of the attack while Assessment is more about seeing what that opponent thinks they abilities are and Eidetic Memory is always a good one for a psychic to have. Skills are pretty light for Bright Star outside of some Ranged Combat skills to be able to hit with her attacks and then the Expertise skills of Sociology and Dance!

The Complications from Mutants and Masterminds blend the nature between the crunch of construction and the incoming character notes.  Every starting character has a Motivation and one other Complication which, if they come up in a session, may allow for Hero Points to be earned. Bright Star’s Motivation is Compassion; hearing the thoughts of others and raised as a charitable Catholic leave Maria with only one truth – that she must help those who are in pain all around her. Her Complication is Responsibility because she couldn’t leave well enough alone, the dance troupe she now runs is also an outreach and support center meaning that many more people rely on Maria Silva when she is out of her costume. As a Power Level 11 character, and additional Complication for her is Self-Doubt – when she fails to help or save someone, she can be wracked with guilt and whether she is doing more good than harm by taking up this mantle.

Character Notes

Sao Paolo is one of the largest and densest cities on the planet. Maria Silva’s Catholic upbringing was somewhat of a salve to her family’s constant precipice of disaster but it was her hope and joy on the stage that propelled her through childhood.  A dedicated and gifted dancer, Maria was rapidly recognized by her family as someone who had a way out … a way up in Brazil if only she could get in front of the right people to see her talents. Her parents fretted and worried; Maria danced her heart out.

A college education was something that definitely helped move Maria towards a solid middle class existence and the chance of breaking out as a dancer.  She was quite bright, but rarely applied herself until she found Intro to Sociology. She was intrigued by the idea of studying how groups behaved and how their culture shaped that behavior – so much to say about Brazil write large and her own community writ small. These were her two loves – Sociology and Dance.  

These loves didn’t always make ends meet and in time, she was scaping by and couldn’t ask her parents for help – they had fallen on hard times as well.  She saw an advertisement for volunteers for a medical trial. It should be simple money. She was young enough that as long as it didn’t interfere with her dancing, it should be fine.  

You won’t be surprised to learn it wasn’t fine.  The company behind the trial was working with unlicensed extraterrestrial biologicals … it was no secret that sometimes you used an alien gene splice these days in making the drugs but this strain hadn’t been vetted for human compatibility.  The results were … unexpected to say the least. Maria woke up with her eyes glowing floating off the bed where she was being monitored. The company was ecstatic, to say the least, until Maria began to hear their thoughts – This was to be a way to sell weapons of war across the globe; this was a way to exploit the contracts to be signed; the powers she had were not what they expected but more than enough to put a stop to this test.  Thankfully, this was their only prototype experiment, but not their only success. In the process of breaking out and tearing down the facility, Maria fought another victim of the experimentation. This hulking behemoth would eventually be known as Melancholy of the Four Humours, but started out as a natural disaster in the making in the middle of Sao Paolo.

It could have been worse.  That was what Maria told herself and what the media cheered – she had stopped that rampage before even more were killed.  But there were casualties. She had enough time with her injured parents to see in their hearts with her powers and to hear how much they loved her.  To hear how proud they were in their dying breath.

And to hear her called a “Bright Star” in the sky saving as many as she could.

She rose up and has ever since to protect Brazil, and especially to protect people like her parents and the underserved of Brazil’s dichotomous society.  She finished school, and did find a way to dance for her job, but her living became rising above Sao Paolo, and Brazil, to save those that needed hope in their lives.

Argonauts Overview Here

Bright Star Character Sheet Here.

Mutants & Masterminds © Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. References to copyrighted material in no way constitute a challenge to the respective copyright holders of that material. Mutants & Masterminds, Super-powered by M&M, Green Ronin, and their associated logos are trademarks of Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. Please also see the Open Game LIcense from Wizards of the Coast regarding the use of the d20 system and underlying components that are not designated product identity of Green Ronin Publishing.
Imagery Created with HeroMachine 3.
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