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  1. Today for Private Eye monthly we are interviewing Mike White, local gumshoe and veteran of the mean streets of Bedlam. It is a priviledge to have you here today and we have a bunch of questions for you. Why did you want to become a private investigator? It was something I had always dreamed about since I was a kid. Most kids dreamed of being the next Rocky Marciano, the Capo di Capo or chief of police. Not me, comics made me yearn for a life of excitement, solving crimes and getting all the dames. How's that going for you? Has it been what you expected? Yes and no, there has certainly been danger. No one ever tells you about the times someone sticks a gun in your face or a couple a gorillas decide you been askin' too many questions and you think that maybe you have run out of luck. What about the dames? Is there a Mrs White? (Mike laughs) There mighta been a dame or two but this life isn't great for relationships. Your partner never knows when that 3am phone call is gonna happen. There's no guaranteed paycheck, the hours can be murder, and it can be hard explaining that you needed to go to a bar for 3 hours to speak to witnesses who might be hookers and strippers. Who knows though, right? Maybe someone who will come along who can understand the life. You talk about how tough Bedlam is, even though you have been here 15 years as a private eye. What is the secret of your success? That's a pretty tricky one to answer. I guess I try to never go into a situation unprepared. In this game knowledge is king. Here we got a lot of puppets and not so many puppet masters. You gotta know the puppet masters and know whose back to scratch. You can't outfight every gangster in town. You gotta know how to talk to people. You also gotta look after the people who are looking after you. Your informants gotta know you will move heaven and earth to protect them. I guess the last one is trust your instincts. Have you ever had to shoot someone? Nope. When I was a cop I saw how many lives got ruined by guns. Besides, you can't arrest a corpse, can you. Also, vendettas still happen. Doesn't that put you at a disadvantage? Not really. You see if you can pull a gun before I knock your face out the back of your head. I don't need to worry so much about hurting innocent bystanders neither. Nowadays, there are new criminals. Some of these guys are bulletproof or can shoot laser beams out of their eyes? How do you deal with them? Politely. Seriously though, same way as anybody else. Gather information. Find out who is pulling their strings. Why did you leave the police force? Geez, you been doing a little research yourself. Bedlam cops are doing a thankless job in a dirty city. I have huge respect for them. I guess I just wanted to not be at the beck and call of anybody. Although this life can be tough I can choose my own clients and which cases to do. I can choose my own hours too. I am doing what I love. Do you think there is still a place for private detectives when you got guys like the Mystik and Hammer of Justice dealing with criminals? More than ever. Those guys might be great at stopping those eye laser beam guys but they don't know nothing about helping that little old lady down the street get back her wedding ring that was burgled from her place or help someone find out whether they have been catfished or not. I don't think it is in their job description. Here's a million dollar question for you. How would you solve the problem of crime in Bedlam? I guess you need to change the conditions that lead to crime. Poverty. This is largely caused by corruption. You gotta persuade the puppetmasters that there will be direct, personal consequences for them if they remain in Bedlam. This stuff though is way above my pay grade. So you've never been tempted to put on a cape? Are you crazy, and look like a kook. Nah, give me a decent pair of trousers and a nice shirt. Them other weirdos can wear the silly costumes. You look like a pretty fit guy. How do you keep in shape? I'm pretty old-fashioned. I go to a boxing gym 3 or more times a week. What do you do when you aren't working? When my bank manager gives me time off ya mean. It seems like every day someone else in the family is getting married or having a birthday or their first communion or something. If that ain't happening I enjoy going out at night. There's a few good poolbars still around. Failing that I look a good book now and then. How would you describe yourself? I'm just another good italian guy. I am 5'10. I am in pretty good shape and I still got all my own teeth. Maybe I take my job too seriously but when I set my mind on something I usually get it done. I like to dress nice and look professional. I don't drink too much and I don't smoke. When I get excited or I'm around family my accent comes back stronger and I use my hands more when I speak. What things are most important to you in your life? Hmmm... Self-respect, family, God, America and it's ideals, justice and independence. Do you have any deep dark secrets you want to share? Nope. Was there anyone who inspired you growing up? Yeah, my uncle Joe. He was an old-fashioned cop who was tough and would give you a beating if he thought you was getting yourself in trouble. He probably kept me out of jail or worse. Do you have any regrets and would you have done anything differently? Yeah, I got a few. There were a few times that maybe I made the wrong choices or did deals I shouldn't have. There was a time when I asked the wrong person for help only to be let down. What legacy would you like to leave? I ain't dead yet (laughing). I guess I would like people to know that you don't need to change the world to make people's lives better but by making people's lives better you can change the world. I would like people to think of me as someone who worked hard helping other people. What would you say to people who wanted to be like you and follow in your footsteps? For crissakes, don't try and be someone else, especially me. Be the best you that you can be. As for being a detective, this is not a life for everyone. Go be a software developer or surgeon or something that will actually make decent money. Thank you Mike for your time and your insights into the life of a private detective.
  2. Mystik Enter the Shadow We all want our first times to be special, right? Beautiful, powerful, something that fills us with joy and light. In reality though it is usually an awkward fumbling in the dark, not really knowing what we are doing and praying we get it right. This is about my first time. Let me tell you about magic. I ain't talking 'bout pulling a rabbit from no hat or making a card appear. A rabbit in my neighbourhood becomes stew. Even Santa Claus pays protection money and Rudolph keeps the engine running for a quick getaway. No I am talking about real magic. The real sort that flows through everything around us, that some lucky lucky bastids have flowing through their veins. They wave their hands and 'hey presto' you are ensorcelled or something. That was who I wanted to be. Not someone who could do magic, but someone who could be magic. I thought if I was magical I could magic my life into something special. With all these people doing things never done before that maybe if I prayed hard enough, and believe me no one prays harder than a good catholic italian boy, I might be magic. No such luck. There are people with perfect pitch, who know a note just by hearing it, who can learn to play an instrument in an hour. I am the other guy. When it comes to magic I am tone-deaf. I am color blind to the wonder of magic.There are Michaelangelo's and the guy with the paint by numbers set. That is me. Can I do magic? Sure. I can do a bunch of tricks that seem like real magic. What no one knows is the hours of research I have to do each time, or the time it takes to prepare the ritual or how long it takes to actually cast the ritual. Sometimes it will take days depending on what is required. Can I feel magic? That is pretty hard to answer. I had become a detective in the 5th district of Bedlam. I was still pretty young so I got the cases that no one wanted. This one was a kid who got killed in a hit and run during an armoured car heist. Long story short I worked out who did it but the case got spiked from so high it came back with snow on it. I had promised the mother of the dead child that I would help bring her killer to justice, instead her evidence got lost and she was fatally shot in a mugging gone wrong apparently. I can talk about it now but at the time I was so angry that this brave woman who had lost everything should lose her life as well. Of course I knew where the orders had come from, even if I couldn't prove it. I raged until the rage burnt away leaving nothing but a cold desire for vengeance. I could shoot the guy but then I would be in jail or worse. Even back then I had already been obsessed with the supernatural and the occult. I had spent considerable parts of my wages on books that most people thought were mumbo jumbo or should be burnt. My hands seemed to intuitively know which book to open, which dark ritual to prepare. If my family could see me now they would drag me off for an excorcism. After days of preparation, of making sure each rune was perfect. I finally cast my first ritual of summoning, fuelled by the spirit of vengeance within me. I got to feel magic for the first time. It was not what I expected... Imagine your entire body and spirit are filled with ice and darkness. Imagine all that you feel of love and joy and empathy snuffed out until all that is left is a creature of vengeance, filled with rage colder than space. You are trapped inside it and although you are horrified the terrible purity is beautiful in it's own way as you are freed from doubt and the weakness of kinder emotions. We/I knew where our target was. We/I travelled through the shadows that are our/my home to the place he lived. He was in bed asleep. Our/my purpose was clear, to make him pay for what he had done. We/I placed our hand upon his soul and let him feel our dread touch. His eyes snapped open and he looked up at us/me. The sweet essence of his fear filled the room. Another touch and I let him feel the last moments of his victims lives and the cold dark eternity that lay beyond. We/I leaned close and whispered 'we will return until you have atoned for your crimes' . We/I left as we had arrived, fading back into the shadows as he babbled incoherently in terror. That was the first time I really felt magic, even though it was as cold and merciless as a razor's kiss. They say that when you stare into the abyss sometimes it stares into you. Since that time I have felt the need for vengeance grow stronger in me. I also have a strange affinity for the shadows. I have also seen what may lie beyond this life and have no wish to send someone there. I hope with all my heart that your first time is different to my own.
  3. would that cover things like if I wanted silver hands or fire hands?
  4. He only has two attacks, punching stuff and a tranq gun. He has a strike power. All I want is for his punch to be able to affect things an ordinary punch can't. I don't want or need extra damage as that would put me over PL caps
  5. I have a character that wants to be able to cast a ritual that enables his punches to have different descriptors eg, "holy, silver, flaming fists of fury". I don't know if he is limited to one descriptor at a time although that would be weird seeing as most other powers seem to have more than one descriptor. How many ranks of variable descriptor would he need to be able use most descriptors? Is Limitation [unarmed attacks only] applicable or even necessary? Is it enhanced trait power or something else? Thanks for any help.
  6. Can Plastic Fantastic make a popular knowledge roll for some info about "Justice"? popular knowledge: 1d20+10 21
  7. Plaatic Fantastic condition 'curious'. Raphael had been looking forward to a 'music festival'. Real beings playing music with their own funny little appendages. When the skies erupted with noise and fury he wasn't sure if it was special effects, humans at war or entirely normal for this planet. He understood the principle of weather. The biodome had regularly programmed 'wet' days. The people around him didn't seem very relaxed though and most were scuttling for cover in the more solid lookng buildings. Maybe humans weren't entirely waterproof! He could see people struggling to get safe from the deluge. He wrapped an arm around a lampost and stretched out his other, grabbing people and letting them use his arm as a safety rope to get to safety. He muttered a quick prayer to Saint Oprah for her wisdom to help him deal with this situation. Once the people he could see were safe he moved on looking for others to help.
  8. Ok.. I live in New Zealand. I am far too old to still be roleplaying ? Although I love DnD up to about 3.5, MnM 2e is still my favourite system to make characters in. When I am not feeding my online addiction I fish and occasionally hunt. I love the complex questions that are raised around comics and their morality. I also love the questions about how society would really look if Supers were amongst us. The Watchmen was one of my favourite movies. I love the little guys, making do on guts, luck and determination rather than the upper echelons of power, like Hulk, and Superman. Although Batman looks silly in his batsuit I have more respect for him than any of the other JLA members, because he struggles on despite his flaws and weaknesses.
  9. Thank you. That feally clears things up.
  10. I just read the house rule that constructs if hit by a non-lethal attack automatically convert it to a lethal attack! This seems harsh, especially as constructs can't heal themselves, by definition. I know they get immunity to fortitude but it still seems to penalise them a lot considering that they also have to buy at least one stat up as well. Just out of interest how does extra effort affect constructs? I assume that they just can't do it (as they can't suffer from fatigue) which is another huge drawback especially when it comes to alternate powers, My interpretation may be wrong though... Any thoughts?
  11. Plastic Fantastic Power level: 10 (150pp) Trade-offs: -2 Defence +2 Toughness In Brief: Naive elastic alien trys to make Earth a better place. Theme: Barbie Girl by Aqua. Alternative identity: Although he can be anyone he wants he doesn't have a permanently established alternative persona. Birthplace: Biodome 7, Klovanis Orbital, Horsehead Nebula. Residence: 1480 King Boulevard (Crossroads) Base of Operations:? Occupation: stunt double. Affiliations: none yet Family: The gestacracy of Klovia, just not in this galaxy. Description His/it's appearance is malleable at whim. He prefers an attractive male build and plays around with skin, hair and eye colour. He will either be in his Plastic Fantastic build in a very colourful spandex outfit or in something that looks like it came from the latest fashion houses (for better or worse). History Plastic Fantastic (A.K.A Raphael Winfrey), came to Earth as a tourist. He chose his earth normative package that came with languages, a neural overlay to provide some basic skills and his booster shots. He chose Earth because he was on a budget and because it is in a relatively unfashionable part of the universe there wouldn't be too many crowds and package tours. Although it smelled bad, had barbaric technology and practices, and it's people had never heard of cerebronanobiotic personality reformation or even a decent Alderbaaran zvlorsht, there was a vibrancy that got under his skin. He decided to stay for a while. He discovered that humans were carbon based and used calcium for their internal structure. They weren't long chain polymer based at all! If they wanted to change their appearance they had to use paints or actual surgery. They were these strange rigid bags of water and mineral deposits. Despite that they were full of life, and variety, trying to overcome their obvious physical deficiencies. Personality and motivation Raphael is still pretty naive about Earth and Earthlings but wants to help it. He is a pretty simple soul. He hates seeing sentients hurting other sentients and will do anything to prevent it. His code of behavior comes from visual information units on the local infoserver known as 'cable' such as 'bad boys', 'ace venturer', 'hot fuzz' and 'lord of the rings' and many more. In his old life he spent many a solan doing the same thing in his job over and over, just one more clone in the protocarbon restabilisation unit, never making a difference, with no-one even seeming to notice him but here he can really make people's lives better. Here he can be special. Powers and tactics Raphael soon discovered that most humans are not very stretchy. Even gymnasts and yoga masters are as stiff as boards compared to a Klovian like himself. He soon found out that they are quite easy to tie up and don't like a spring powered punch or two. Because they are so limited in ways they can change their appearance they don't seem to realise that other people might be better at changing their appearance. This has helped get Raphael into lots of places. Abilities 0+4+20+4+2+8=38pp Strength 10 (+0) Dexterity 14 (+2) Consitution 30 (+10) Int 14(+2) Wis 12 (+1) Charisma 18 (+4) Combat: 16pp Attack +16pp defence=32pp Initiative: +10 Attack: +10 melee +6 ranged Defence:+8, +4 flatfooted Grapple:+10 base +2 dex (grappling finesse) +10 (elongation} =+22 Saving throws: 11pp Toughness +10 (con) +2(defensive roll) =+12 Fortitude +10 (con) Reflex +2 (dex) +6=+8 Will +1 (wis) +5=+6 Skills: 52ranks =13pp Diplomacy8 (+12) Disguise12(+16) Knowledge: popular culture8 (+14) Knowledge: technology12 (+14) Notice4 (+5) Search8 (+10) Feats: 19pp Attack focus4 (melee) (4pp) Chokehold (1pp) Defensive roll2 (2pp) Fast overun [make multiple overun attempts] (1pp) Grappling finess [use dex for grappling and retain dodge while grappling] (1pp) Improved grab [start a grapple attempt as a free action after a successful attack] (1pp) Improved grapple [make grapple checks with only one hand] (1pp) Improved initiative 2 [+8] (2pp) Improved overun [+4 to trip checks on overuns, opponent cannot avoid] (1pp) Improved pin [-4 penalty o grappling checks against you to escape] (1pp) Interpose [You can change places with an adjacent ally subject to attack] (1pp) Move by action (1pp) Quick change 2 (2pp) Powers 6pp + 23pp +2pp + +1pp +10pp =42pp "alien physiology" Bouncing 3 (falling or knockback less than +6 and greater damage reduces by +6) 6pp Elongation 10 (Extra:action [move to free,] +10 to escape artist, +10 to grapple, +10 to move) (20pp) (biological) -AP Morph 10 (any humanoid) -----AP of Morph= Concealment 4 (all visual senses, Power feat: close range) -AP Strike 10 ("Spring powered punch", Power feat: indirect3, Power feat: ricochet, linked Elongation 8 (range increment 80ft) -AP Snare 10 (Extra:area [shapeable 10xrft cubes], Extra: engulf +0, Flaw: range [ranged to touch])(23pp} Immunity to critical hits (2pp) Immunity to impact damage (10pp) Immunity to poison (1pp} Drawbacks. "Someone just sold me a bridge". Raphael is gullible. His society has lost the art of dishonesty. Raphael has a vulnerability to interaction skills. [very common, moderate difficulty. Increase the DC of will saves against interaction skills by 50%] - 4pp "Oprah says so" Addiction to day-time tv. If Raphael doesn't get his daily fix of day time tv he gets distracted and can't concentrate [moderate weakness daily] . - 1pp Complications "stranger in a strange land" Raphael is trying to fit in but humans, their behaviour and the english language are really confusing. "how do I turn it on?" Earth technology is so far behind what he is used to that simple things like toasters and computers can cause him difficulties. Total costs: 38pp(Abilities} + 32pp(Combat) + 11pp(Saves) + 13pp (skills) + 19pp(Feats) + 42pp(Powers) - 5pp(Drawbacks) =150
  12. Whoever has the power to do so, could they please delete Paper dragon and Arsenal forever. I don't think I can do it myself. If it is something I need to do could someone explain how.
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