The name, and some of the basic ideas, for Brique come from my own gaming experience with my randomly rolled mutant character back in the 90s, but this Brique is a chance to use the Robot Origin for the FASERIP system and to delve a little further into the darker supernatural elements of that era.
Origin: Robot. Like many other aspects of the game, Robot can mean many things! In this instance, Robot means golem or magically created entity that is not just a modification of a human (Altered Human Origin) or a vat grown artificial human. Robots in the FASERIP system have little to set them apart – they use a specific column to roll their Primary Statistics, which provides a greater range (all the way up to Monstrous) than the other Origins we have seen this far. The Robot character starts with 0 Popularity, like a Mutant, but that is about it. A Robot can be restored after “killed” but has 0 karma. It’s quite straight forward.
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 – 40 – Good (8)
- A – 25 – Good (8)
- S – 93 – Amazing (46)
- E – 100 – Monstrous (63)
- R – 37 – Good (8)
- I – 52 – Remarkable (26)
- P – 94 – Amazing (46)
Well, if it wasn’t clear from the name, Brique is going to be a Brick for sure. We see a clearly metahuman level of strength as Amazing is in the area of the old 50 Ton press, so that era of comic characters would be someone like Rogue or on DC’s side Aquaman (though both have seemed to spend some karma into the Monstrous range since then). Endurance of Monstrous means a really resilient and hardy body … which I will make work with the whole Brique/Brick thing. This set of rolls also provides a great resistance to psychic and magical attacks because Psyche is used frequently for that purpose!
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 – 125 (no matter what that sheet’s autoformat says)
- Karma – 80
- Resources – A roll on the modification chart from Typical gets us to Good.
- Popularity – Popularity starts at 0. Its the side effect of the robot thing described above.
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 58 means a result of “3/4”. The first roll means that we end up on the right track, but by the third power, I made a choice for fun:
- Body Alterations – Defensive – Body Armor Incredible (36)
- Matter Control – Earth (Worked Earth) Incredible (36)
- Movement – Teleportation Remarkable (26)
With Body Armor and Earth control rolled up, we are in good stead to make this brick a literal brique but for the final power, I wanted to get a movement power but one that was not immediately obvious. Brique can develop a power stunt for riding waves of bricks and concrete later. I decided to go for Teleportation because I think that shifting and sending consciousness through the highway, turning it into a literal information superhighway is a little amusing and the sort of tongue in cheek powers that began spreading like wildfire in the 1990s.
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. The book specifically allows for the Mystic Background Talent to be directly selected. This Talent is something that can allow to purchase of powers as spells later and also demonstrates some general familiarity with magickal forces which fits my conception for this character
- Mystic Skills – Mystic Background
- Mystic Skills – Occult Lore
- Scientific Skills – Archaeology
These skills provide a definite “in” for Brique being a starting point for creepy occult stories and also to provide some mystery as to Brique’s background as well.
Contacts – a Roll of 62 means a result of “4/4”. With a lot of contacts, first we will start with some of the Mystical side. As I will be pulling these characters from my own world, let’s look at what sort of a role they may fill instead to explain how to choose them – As this is a 90s theme, a former villain is always a good option for a hero’s contact. James Robinson’s Starman put this front and center with the work on the Shade so in that vein, I’ll use the supernaturally powered Vrykolakas who was active in the 1970s and 80s in this world and empowered by a mystical connection to the earth. If you are a Card Catalog junky, you’ll remember the oblique reference to his attempt to recreate Chernobyl on American soil in the Atomic Avenger write up which also ties into Barracuda’s origin. Another contact is more of an human type who isn’t a being of magic but can provide endless bits of story. Professor Li who studies archaeology and is likely at the same school that Akasha attends making this a tidy and interconnect bit of story. Brique is still not done though as 2 more Contacts are available. One of the options for the original FASERIP system was to leave contacts undefined at character generation which is similar to how you could write in more of a backstory later in a comic book. Since I have Brique with one of those trademarked 90s dark and mysterious origins, I am going to leave 2 Undetermined so they can be revealed later and be somewhat worrisome or creepy.
Weakness – Every good hero needs a weakness. Brique is no exception. Since I have already conceptualized this as a golem character tied to worked and semi-worked stone and earth, it makes sense to have a weakness to Air based powers. This will also create a neat antagonism with his teammate Akasha and his air based powers. Air based powers bypass Brique’s Body Armor leaving quite a sting at times.
The infamous first time the modern age of heroes started a decade ago created images everyone remembers. The self proclaimed Demon Lord’s attack shocked the world as the city of Campaign suffered the brunt of the attack. Whether the fell creature is really a demon and magical is something most never will know, but the fledgling group of heroes who stepped up after Praetor and Halo were beaten did include a young but powerful mage from France we now just call Sorciere.
Why are we starting with the Campaign Crisis for Brique’s origin? Because that battle unleashed eldritch and glorious magical power that ripped across reality. Demon Lord was beaten, and the city began to heal … and Brique grew from the city’s wound mingling with the energy of that battle. It is a fair question that has not been answered on whether someone was trying to create Brique, from here or elsewhere, or whether the specific combination caused a spontaneous combustion of a spirit of the city. It may matter, but Brique isn’t saying.
Despite the occasional run in with a costumed hero or magical troublemaker, Brique spent several years as an urban legend in Campaign. Section Gamma put an end to that but for what reason, we still don’t know. It was then that Brique’s connections with the magical sense of the universe began to be more apparent. Not just a golem of brick and concrete, Brique spoke eloquently with Prof. Li at Campaign University and it should perhaps come as no surprise when Vrykolakas, well past his time as a world shattering supervillain, knocked on Section Gamma’s door to speak with Brique. Vrykolakas had always claimed the draw power from the Earth, and it seemed natural for them to be discussing Ancient Egyptian society. Barracuda and Skasha don’t know that they still have a regular tea and chess meeting scheduled monthly and it is sometimes Vrykolakas who has provided hints and favors for Nightblade.
Backing up to the formation of Nightblade not unlike how Brique sometimes describes time – the mortar sealing reality together – it was several years of quiet reflection, tea and chess, and the occasional trip to find old and buried cities before Chimera crashed through the wall of the warehouse where Brique was watching Barracuda and Gun Bunny argue over the best way to train together. Chimera’s arrival galvanized their action against the wave of Blanks from the New Millennium Patriots. While the NMP seems quite intent on catching Chimera, there is a distance and respect that seems left to Brique from them.
Brique certainly isn’t saying why and neither are they.
Brique Character Sheet here.
Character Designs done on Hero Machine 3