Corax (School of Hard Knocks)

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Corax, Prince of Space[edit]

Corax's real name is essentially unpronounceable in Earth language, but it sounds close to "Corax," and his family crest does include a big black bird, so he thought it was fitting. For his "normal" identity, he will be going by Jack Raven.

His family is from one of the royal lineages of his people, gifted with greater psionic potential and heir to noble title. In theory, they should rule over an Earth-sized habitable moon orbiting a gas giant. They now hold very little other than the ancestral mansion located on that moon, however. The house itself is enormous, and houses several dozen persons - grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. However, while the physical structure and the family's other possessions are built to last, they have almost no money. The last few fading sinecures are sufficient to keep them barely out of poverty, but financial collapse looms slowly closer by the decade.

Of course, none of them would even consider selling off the last of their ancestral possessions, or giving up enough of their inherited pride to work for a living.

Corax grew up among the shadows and cobwebs of long-faded glories, being told he was the heir apparent, destined to be Prince of their entire sphere. As he got older, though, it became clear that his family had decayed to near-insolvency, and that he would likely preside over the collapse of his family's last gasps.

Caught between a history his family wouldn't let him throw away, and the fact that it was a doomed endeavor, Corax turned to juvenile delinquency. He has engaged in fights, joyriding, and various kinds of petty crime. Even though his powers are not yet fully developed, he is already too dangerous for the local authorities to ignore - tradition or no. His parents, secretly, cut a deal with the Hard Knocks producers - in return for their son's participation, they'll receive a nice, fat bunch of Inter-Stellar Kredits (ISK.)

If Corax ever finds out that they finally broke their compact against any kind of commercial enterprise by selling him out, he's going to lose his shit.

Description[edit]

Jack Raven looks unusual and multi-ethnic to the eyes of Earth-people, but certainly not beyond the bounds of normal humanity. He has pale skin and large and almond-shaped eyes, blue-black with a slight iridescence. The hair on his head is dark, thick, and stiff, most similar to African hair that has been subject to extensive straightening. He has no body hair, appearing under close examination as though he is thoroughly waxed. His people usually plait their hair into fins, fans, and sprays, with their complexity in inverse proportion to the physical risks they are subject to. Warriors generally arrange it into something much like a simple mohawk.

He's tall, slender, and willowy, with liquid movements and gestures that belie the fact that he could take a beating as well as any normal human. His mouth and eyes would be incredibly expressive if he relaxed and let down his guard, but as of the current time he is under strict self-control.

Characteristics[edit]

VAL CHA Cost Roll Notes

10 STR 0 11- HTH Damage 2d6 END [1]

20 DEX 20 13-

15 CON 5 12-

15 INT 5 12- PER Roll 12-

13 EGO 3 12-

20 PRE 10 13- PRE Attack: 4d6

10 OCV 35

10 DCV 35

3 OMCV 0

7 DMCV 12

7 SPD 50 Phases: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12

7 PD 5 7/22 PD (0/15 rPD)

7 ED 5 7/22 ED (0/15 rED)

20 REC 16

70 END 10

15 BODY 5

44 STUN 12

Movement Modes[edit]

Movement Cost Meters Notes
RUNNING 0 12m/24m END [1]
SWIMMING 0 4m/8m END [1]
LEAPING 0 4m 4m forward, 2m upward
FLIGHT 25m/400m


Characteristics Total: 223

Powers[edit]

Cost Powers - END=

  • 36 Psi-field: Resistant Protection (15 PD/15 ED) (45 Active Points); Costs Endurance (Only Costs END to Activate; -1/4) - END=4
  • 10 Power Defense (10 points) - END=0
  • 7 Blase: +10 PRE (10 Active Points); Limited Power Power loses about half of its effectiveness (Only for defense against Presence Attacks; -1) - END=

60 Psi-Powers: - END=

  • 4f 3) Tracelessness: Invisibility to Sight, Hearing, Mental and Smell/Taste Groups, Danger Sense and Combat Sense (43 Active Points) - END=4
  • 6f 4) Telekinesis (40 STR) (60 Active Points) - END=6
  • 6f 5) Searing Bolt: Killing Attack - Ranged 3d6, Armor Piercing (+1/4) (56 Active Points) - END=6
  • 4f 6) Blast Touch: Hand-To-Hand Attack +9d6, Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4) (56 Active Points); Hand-To-Hand Attack (-1/4) - END=2
  • 8v 7) Flight 25m, x16 Noncombat (40 Active Points) - END=4


Powers Total: 139

Skills[edit]

Cost Skills
3 Charm 13-
3 Conversation 13-
3 Stealth 13-
3 PS: Royalty 13-
3 Sleight Of Hand 13-
3 Oratory 13-
3 Persuasion 13-
3 Lockpicking 13-
3 Bribery 13-
3 Bureaucratics 12-
3 Deduction 12-
3 PS: Rock Musician 13-
5 Language: English, Idiomatic + Literacy

Skills Total: 41

Complications[edit]

  • 20 Psychological Complication: Noblesse Oblige. Includes a fair amount of what would be covered by code against killing, plus other obligations and limitations. (Common, Total)
  • 10 Psychological Complication: Believes he should be in charge; has trouble with authority figures (Common; Moderate)
  • 10 Rivalry: Professional ( Rival is As Powerful; Rival is a Player Character; Seek to Outdo, Embarrass, or Humiliate Rival; Rival Aware of Rivalry)

Alien Teen Reality Stars

  • 20 1) Physical Complication: Flawed Knowledge of Earth Culture: Character is an alien whose knowledge of Earth culture comes solely from reality TV (Very Frequently; Slightly Impairing)
  • 15 2) Hunted: Various fans of the shows, local people you get in trouble with, your probation officers, the show cameras and real superheroes keeping an eye on you. Frequently (As Pow; NCI; Mildly Punish)

Complications Points: 75

Base Points: 400
Experience: 10
Experience Unspent: 02
Total Character Cost: 408

Everyman Skills[edit]

All at 8-
Acting
Climbing
Computer Programming
Concealment
Deduction
Native Language 4 pts
Galactic Standard 3 points
Paramedics
Persuasion
PS: Chef
Shadowing
Stealth
TF: Basic Ship Operations
AK Home Planet

Endnotes[edit]

I'm eventually going to put here, for reference, the baseline stat-block of a normal member of his race.

Corax comes from The Clarity, a race that re-engineered themselves tens of thousands of years ago. They wedded psionics and biotechnology to uplift themselves to a higher state of being. Their signature enhancement is their skeletal structure, a crystalline matrix that serves as a battery and amplifier for their innate psionic powers; powers that have the capacity to increase over time, with practice. Those of the royal bloodlines received even greater, purer genetic modifications, and the oldest of the royal lineages possess nearly godlike mental abilities. Even the lesser members of The Clarity can effectively metabolize psychic energy (whether stored internally or simply absorbed from their environment), and for that reason have fast reaction times, heal quickly, and possess substantial stamina. They also tend to live much longer than normal Earthlings

All adult members of the Clarity eventually develop some level of common psionic capabilities, such as psychic sensitivity, telepathy, and/or various forms of extrasensory perception. The Royal bloodlines also develop substantial physical manifestations, such as flight, energy discharge, spontaneous healing of wounds, the ability to survive in hostile environments, and other grossly physical effects.

Their race is ancient, tradition-bound, and decadent, with corruption and degradation endemic to their society. The idealistic dreams of prior ages have come to nothing. For all their personal power, The Clarity is a largely failed society, with cruel and anachronistic laws governing over a people too cynical to do anything about them.

They are, however, vastly powerful in both technological and psychic capabilities. While they are too insular and self-centered to have any expansionist leanings, the forces they can bring to bear are incredible, even on the Galactic scale. The highest-ranking members of the Royal families can tear starships apart with a thought, teleport between planets, and psychically dominate whole crowds of people. However, they have little time or attention for mundane matters, instead focusing on political games and ever-sharper pleasures for their jaded sensibilities. There is only one thing that can unite the Clarity in purpose and distract them from their own byzantine culture.

The Arachnic Combine States are one of the worst monstrosities to ever trouble the Galaxy. The Clarity are old, cruel, amoral, and very, very powerful. However, they generally obey the intestellar law and codes of war (when something does manage to rouse their anger), will hold to their word and contracts, and can in general be dealt with. They are explicable and have some trace elements of humanity left in even their most increasingly-detached elites. The Arachnic Combine States are Anathema to every sophont species.

Imagine a spider. It's very large, with a body roughly matching the size of a Volkswagon Beetle. It has racial memory, with an inbuilt store of knowledge and skill combining genius levels of ability in technical, scientific, and strategic fields, along with lightning-fast calculation and absorption of new skills. It is not sapient in the normal sense of the word, but can think, plan, reason, and even communicate when need be. It can consume and metabolize almost anything; its biomechanical guts include something like normal digestion in addition to microfusion plants or their equivalent. Its exoskeleton can deflect antitank weaponry, it has superhuman senses, a mix of razor-sharp and prehensile limbs that can tear powered armor apart, and poison that will paralyze most species for days. Where a normal spider would have spinnerets, its abdomen is full of a nanotech biomechanical engineering suite. Given raw material to consume and time to excrete it in a new form, it can build almost anything it needs. It can hibernate in an asteroid field for centuries, or take over and rule a primitive planet like Earth within years, if a more advanced civilization doesn't detect it. It will twist and take over a society instinctively, to use as a source of food and security, in the same way a normal spider would spin a web. They do have weaknesses. Even when they use some instrument to communicate (a favorite method is to peel off the top of a victim's head and directly manipulate their nervous system) they will sometimes display signature oddities in their grammar that a trained agent can recognize. They are solitary predators who are nearly incapable of working with anything they view as a potential threat, definitely including each other.

In terms of Earth pop-culture, imagine a creature combining the worst traits of a Dalek and one of Giger's Aliens. They will hack your computer systems, enslave your people, and lay eggs in your chest. They cannot be negotiated with. Via a trick of interstellar law, they are viewed as embodying individual enemy civilizations in their individual persons. This is a technical matter that allows them to be killed in ways that would normally be considered illegal assassination or kidnapping. It also results in their being referred to as States instead of, well, individual monsters.

For reasons which go back longer than any civilization on Earth, the Clarity views exterminating the Arachnic Combine States from existence in the galaxy as their special duty. They maintain a small fleet of vessels known as the Special Diplomatic Service, all of which are painted completely white with a single black spider on the front of the hull. This symbolizes the fact that they are under a permanent and irrevocable flag of truce with all species and governments other than the ACS. By galactic tradition, they are allowed free passage anywhere in the sovereign space of any species advanced enough to have a presence in interstellar society. Lesser races like Earth, they don't even bother asking for permission.

The crews are given specialized equipment and training, and only the best and brightest of Clarity society are allowed to become Special Diplomats. In a ten-year term of service, a ship's crew might manage to find and exterminate three adult ACS, and that would be considered a heroic accomplishment. Those who complete this service are, if they do not possess it already, granted a very substantial noble title and holding. Some have been made kings of entire worlds on the basis of exceptional service in the killing of ACS.

The Clarity will assist, with no request for reward, any civilization that believes it has been infiltrated by an ACS, or who thinks a neighboring lesser civilization has been. This one altruistic mission, undertaken at great expense in lives and material, is responsible for a large portion of any goodwill they have in larger Galactic society. The Clarity are bastards, but they are consistently called for aid when someone thinks there are ACS infesting their constellation.