Nightblade – Barracuda

May 7, 2019

The FASERIP System has a great way of dealing with Battlesuits and high tech heroes in the High Tech Heroes origin option! Barracuda is a concept I return to in different settings with an underwater specialist, including a Shadowrun build of him but that is a different series of posts.  Here, I am going to connect the story to some of the other stories in the previous iteration, and reflect how the 1990’s would chain origins off established characters.

Design Notes

Origin: High Tech.  High Tech Heroes are just what they sound like – characters with powers hat come from equipment and tech exclusively.  This could include characters who use magical equipment but otherwise it is an important distinction of all being external to the character.  The range of ranks for their Abilities are much narrower range with the maximum of Remarkable. They do however get the advantages of better resources, the battlesuit opportunity to modify abilities, a two rank increase in Reason, and more.  I have a fondness for them but I would doodle battlesuits for hours as kid.

Primary Statistics: As a reminder, this is the FASERIP of the FASERIP System – Fighting; Agility; Strength; Endurance; Reason; Intuition; and Psyche.  The following shows the rolls, the Rank, and the Rank Number for Chimera

  • F – 77 – Good (8)
  • A – 71 – Good (8)
  • S – 57 – Good (8)
  • E – 15 – Typical (6)
  • R – 86 – Excellent(16) – [Incredible (36)]
  • I – 71 – Good (8)
  • P – 23 – Typical (6)

Not bad for a normal human.  Absolutely brilliant and potentially one of the top minds in the world but a physically rather normal character.  I am going to go ahead and show what happens with Battlesuits. If a High Tech Hero has the Body Alteration – Defensive power of Body Armor, it can be made into a Battlesuit that hosts all of the powers.  The Battlesuit also provides for modifications on the FASE Abilities so you have a different Health in your suit. There is another column to roll that provides these shifts and here is what the Barracuda suit has:

  • F – 71 – +2 Ranks – Remarkable (26)
  • A – 56 – +1 Rank – Excellent (16)
  • S – 39 – No Change – Good (8)
  • E – 63 – +1 Rank – Good (8)

The suit very clearly has some response increases and is plugged into the neural pathways of our operator and it reduces the fatigue generated but is not built for lifting.  Definitely a recon and exploration suit.

Secondary Statistics: These include Health and Karma that are generated by adding FASE and RIP respectively, Popularity that is built from a standard base with some optional changes from the character’s history, and Resources which starts at Typical and is modified by a random roll.

  • Health – 30 / 58
  • Karma – 50
  • Resources – High Tech starts at Good instead of Typical, or may be a Typical plus roll on the chart.  I choose the latter and lucked out with a roll of 80 providing +2 Ranks for an Excellent Resources to Start.
  • Popularity – Popularity starts at 10.  With a Secret ID, I will go ahead and use the same optional rules and give Barracuda’s super heroic identity a 0 at the start because he is supposedly part of the secret organization or governmental project that has caused Nightblade to form.  

Special Abilities are rolled to create a range of powers, talents, and contacts.  There is a minimum number available, but a character may sacrifice Resource ranks for additional powers, talents, or contacts up to the maximum shown.

Powers – A roll of 27 means a result of “3/4”. This is one of the times I am going to choose the power list partially to fit the overall theme and partially to show off the Battlesuit option:

  • Body Alterations – Defensive – Body Armor Remarkable (26)
  • Body Alterations – Defensive – Life Support Incredible (36)
  • Movement – Swimming Remarkable (26)

One thing we have not yet discussed is how Body Armor works – If an attack does not exceed the Body Armor (or Force Field) rank when it attacks, it does no damage.  There are special modifications that can happen, like energy attacks have an inherent ability to ignore 10 points of body armor and some talents to let you get around them, but it just flat out stops the damage. Life Support and Swimming make sense and if there had been more powers to start, enhanced senses would make the clear choice.  

Talents – a Roll of 81 means a result of “3/4” so at least 3 Talents, which are trained abilities, and up to a maximum of 4 if Resource ranks are sacrificed. I’m not going to sacrifice any resources and will stick with 3.  As a High Tech hero, one Talent MUST be a Scientific or Professional Talent. Since I have already been choosing items for the Powers, I’ll continue that here to show a more designed result.

  • Scientific Skills – Oceanography
  • Professional Skills – Engineering
  • Other Skills –  Tinkering/Repair

Barracuda isn’t that great in a fight, with his limited strength but instead of worry about making him more competent with Talents, I wanted to lean into the backstory for why he builds, repairs, and is kept around in the Science side of things.  Engineering seems to be the best fit for him while Tinkering/Repair provides an even better bonus and his specific knowledge of Oceanography makes sense for an underwater explorer. Yes, I realize this has some similarities to Marvel’s existing character Stingray as I am getting this finished up, but c’est la vie.

Contacts – a Roll of 62 means a result of “2/4” and as I don’t want to sacrifice any Resources, that will be 2 Contacts.  One of those contacts must be the organization somehow related to the High Tech powers and equipment. The overall organization, is going to have some shadowy name that sounds like it could be a governmental or military black book operation – Section Gamma. For the other one, I am connecting his history to the Atomic Avenger from when we looked at Mutants & Masterminds so Dr. Chandler, Atomic Avenger, will be the second.  

Weakness – Using the optional rules from the Ultimate Powers Book, a good achilles heel for a hero is always useful. For Barracuda, though, it is mostly covered by being a Battlesuit and a not overly powerful Battlesuit.  I will still give him a bit of a psychological response to sensory overload partially from his traumatic experience in the origin story. It isn’t an attempt to model Post Traumatic Stress, but at the Judge’s discretion, a Psyche FEAT will be needed to avoid being overwhelmed.   

Character Notes

Life always came easily to Peter Siden.  His teacher’s called him a once in a generation mind – a child prodigy who could piece together the classroom assignments without so much as a second thought.  It made school far too easy and far too short. It meant that he was a bored teenager and bored teenagers get into trouble.

One way to solve some of the problems of a rebellious youth, even one who has an IQ that is far superior to his teachers, parents, and mentors, is to send the kid off to learn some discipline.  In all fairness, it was Peter who made the decision after the he turned 18 to enlist. He saw that making improvised pranks and science experiments at home wasn’t going to get him anywhere but trouble and the new battlesuits that were flying through the air of the 1980s inspired him.  The military saw immediately that it had a useful and talented person. It was indeed an opportunity to work on the burgeoning military-industrial complexes battlesuit programs. Peter was never the most physically capable of enlisted men but he was fit enough to make it through basic training and then the military needed something to do with him.  He was sent asea to work on the Navy’s submarines both because he was a skilled mechanic and because it meant there were fewer ways for him to get into trouble underwater.

After one of his tours onboard the submarine, Peter was sent as a liaison and researcher to a joint Defense-Energy project here Dr. Anthony Chandler was working to develop an advanced self-contained battlesuit.  Peter wasn’t the only person dispatched from the military to contribute and keep an eye on Dr. Chandler, and to his surprise it was the first time that he was around a group of people who were as smart as he was and as out of sorts as he was. While his love of the ocean and underwater wasn’t as immediately useful, his expertise in life support systems helped make several improvements along the way.

The history of the Atomic Avenger is mostly known now, though the public thinks it was grad students, not military engineers involved, but the sabotage of the lab resulted in an explosion.  One of the other assistants, seduced by power or possibly money, stole a working version of the suit in the process to become Fireflight while Dr. Chandler escaped to stop him in the original Atomic Avenger suit.  Peter woke up in a private room and was debriefed by Section Gamma.

Section Gamma has never made things entirely transparent about where their funding comes from, but the crisp look and feel of a military program is apparent and his paychecks kept flowing into a bank account far more rewarding than before.  Most of the research was lost in the explosion, almost entirely about the power generation protocols Dr. Chandler used, but several rough frames were saved and Peter set about creating a battlesuit that fit him and the ocean – Barracuda was effectively born.

Section Gamma has been busy in the past few years, with Gun Bunny falling into their laps and to avoid the interstellar incident it would create keeping it quiet as well as the mystical golem like Brique.  Peter was given the leadership role to train them and make sure that if needed, they would be ready for “whatever task we have for you, Mr. Siden.” You already heard how Chimera crashed into the warehouse on the docks where they were and not Nightblade became a real thing at that point…. But as the New Millenium Patriots repeatedly show up in their sights, Peter has grown suspicious of his benefactors in Section Gamma and what secrets they hold.

Nightblade and FASERIP overview here

Barracuda Character Sheet here.

Character Designs done on Hero Machine 3

TSR is a registered trademark owned by TSR Inc. TSR inc. is a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a division of Hasbro, Inc. Marvel Super Heroes was a mark and system owned by TSR. This is a fan work and is not intended as a challenge of ownership to the trademarks of copyrights of the original and respective owners.  Seize the GM is using the now no longer produced system for review and commentary and no claim of ownership is intended or implied
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