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Steel Shade (PL10) - NPC Tier 2

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Steel Shade
Power Level: 
10 (163/163PP)
Unspent Power Points: 0
Trade-Offs:  -2 Defense/+2 Toughness

+2 Attack/-2 Damage (Unarmed, Railpistol)

None (Reality Rifle)


In Brief: Powerhouse using technology to enhance his abilities as a villain.


Alternate Identity: Aaron Armstrong (Secret)

Birthplace: Freedom City

Residence: The Theatre District, Freedom City
Occupation: Part-time Mechanic, Villain for Hire 

Family: Calvin Armstrong (Father), Linda Armstrong (Mother), Alice Armstrong (Sister)



Age: 21

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 216lbs

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Black

Aaron is tall and muscular, with broad shoulders and a thin waist. His hair is unruly in a perpetual bed head that refuses to be combed into submission he frequently forgets to shave, leaving him with a nine o'clock shadow most days, but he never lets it get longer than stubble, as he shaves it off before then. He has high cheekbones and a strong jaw and chin, a long straight nose and bright blue eyes that seem to invite people around him to look at them. He has a long curving cut along the right side of his jaw which he claims he got when a tool he was using broke.

As a civilian he wears jackets and jeans over band shirts, even in the summer, only sacrificing his jacket on the warmest days of the year. He tends to wear steel-toe boots on his feet, regardless of whether he needs them where he is going.

As a villain he wears a modified welding mask that covers his entire face, with numerous technological updates since it's inception. For his suit he wears a black long coat over a white undershirt, with black denim jeans and leather gunslingers chaps on his lower half. He wears a pair of high tech boots and gauntlets and a rocket pack on his back.

Example Images: https://imgur.com/a/Df2EleX


Aaron's family was poor even before he and his sister were born, but things were even harder afterwards, especially with the medical expenses for Alice's condition. So he grew up helping to care for his frail younger sister. Still he was happy, a star athlete at any school he attended, although his academic studies were average at best. Then on the day he turned seventeen, he quickly discovered two things. First, he had developed superpowers, he was stronger, quicker and smarter. Second he found out that Alice had been suddenly cured of her illness, likely by whatever had granted him his powers. His decision to become a villain was not a quick one, not like Alice's heroism, but he needed money both for himself and his family, and had powers. After he turned eighteen he put on a mask, and went out as muscle for hire. For now he'd get himself set up, then he'd work into being a true supervillain. It was easy at first, bust down some walls, take down some goons, get the reward. He saved most of the money, hoping to support himself and Alice in the future, but some of it went into developing better equipment. His first powered gauntlets and boots he made using some stolen supertech. At the same time he did apprenticeships as an electrician and mechanic to help him further develop his supertech, and got himself an apartment in the Theatre District, close to his family but outside The Fens.


He was planning on making the jump to being a real villain when she ruined everything. Shooting Star turned up at a robbery and everything went sideways. The mask came off after she hit him, the edge of it tearing open a gash along his jaw and the heroine just stared. He knew right away that she recognised him, so he cut his losses and fled. No one he knew was acting differently, so she had to be just keeping an eye on him for now, and so he didn't dare make the jump to being a self-employed villain, since there's no way she'd stand aside. So for two years he's been developing his supertech to allow him to take her down, and secure his and his sister's future.


Personality & Motivation:
Aaron is of the opinion that himself, his family and his friends are what matters, and is willing to do whatever he feels is necessary to help and protect them. He feels especially protective of his sister Alice, who he helped with her condition for seven years before she was cured of her disease. The primary reason he works as a villain is to get the money to support himself and his sister in the future.

Aaron pushes himself to meet higher standards than he tends to hold others to, wanting to make a better life for the people he cares about even if it puts him at risk. He is reserved around people he doesn't know, but more open around his friends and family, although since moving out he's been in less contact with his family, wanting to keep his work as a villain a secret.


Powers & Tactics:
Aaron tends to use non-lethal equipment, not wanting to get treated like a Moore-era villain, and preferring instead the maximum punishment of being sent to jail instead of ripped to pieces. Even his guns are able to be non-lethal mode to allow him to incapacitate of targets instead of kill them, although some of his gear is dangerous if not handled carefully, and they have lethal modes. If he is forced to fight without his gadgets, between his powers and his gauntlets and boots he is still a formidable powerhouse at the street level, although maybe not as tough as some of the other ones out there. His enhanced quickness and intelligence do not generally help him in a straight up fight, but does let him work out plans and such on the fly.


The technology he carries with him are his powered gauntlets and boots, which enhance his strength and defence, they also contain a pair of shield generators, one very powerful generator that renders him impervious to almost all attacks without it even touching him, but they are limited to stopping five blows before they overheat and fall back entirely on the weaker shields they wrap around him. His mask penetrates concealment allowing him to see enemies behind cover and it also recycles the air he breathes, helping him avoid suffocation. While it doesn't perfectly protect him, it does roughly double the time he can avoid suffocation.

His primary weapon is the Railpistol he made, a high powered pistol that he uses as his primary weapon. It is accurate and stealthy allowing him to use it without alerting enemies of his presence. He carries three other weapons with him, experimental guns that he carries in case of emergencies. The Energy Blaster shoots explosive packets of energy, a homing ball that explodes onto the target. The energy type can be changed at will, allowing for the resistances and immunities of different opponents, and tears through normally impervious protections. The Entropic Accelerator shoots a beam that causes a burst of accelerated entropy, weakening people and structures around a blast point, although the accelerated chaos returns to normal over time, the violation of physics undoing itself and the universe setting it right. The Temporal Distorter causes all living creatures in an area start perceive a reduced amount of time relative to those unaffected, slowing their reactions, or if especially effective freezing them entirely.

These weapons are Aaron's answer to heroes he would otherwise be unable to combat, a lesson learned from his fight with Shooting Star, the main reasons they are not his primary weapons is the limited number of shots, and the potential that they will overheat and burn him.

On his back he wears his jump pack which allows him to leap hundreds of feet, but only five times so he uses it sparingly, it allows him manoeuvrability he normally does not possess, capable of quickly gaining ground, bypassing cover or reaching high places. Finally hidden all over his person are small gadgets that Aaron uses to get through various situations like a smoke generator to conceal himself, a collection of various grenades like his stun grenade to put normal civilians out of action without wasting time with his pistol, the Breathtaker, which thins the air in an area around it, making it hard to breath and move for regular humans, and the Little Helper, a small semi-autonomous robot to open locks, help him search and investigate and keep an eye out for trouble.


Power Descriptions:
The powers Aaron possesses innately are the standard powerhouse ones, as well as enhanced intelligence and quickness, allowing him to perform well beyond the norm academically and physically. His gadgets and devices are all made by him working from experiments and pilfered pieces of super tech, making some pieces unreliable and others fully dangerous to those using them. His most refined pieces are his gauntlets, gloves and mask.



Fickle and Temperamental

Aaron's powers are derived from an artefact of the Greek Gods, and when they find out about it they will likely act on the information in some manner.


Blood runs thicker.

Aaron's sister is also the superheroine Shooting Star and knows his identity. Aaron wants to keep his sister safe and use his work as a supervillain to provide for her and the rest of the family, and wants to take Shooting Star down to prevent her from using his identity against them, as he is unaware that they are the same person.

Abilities: 8 + 4 + 6 + 8 + 2+ 6 = 34PP
Strength: 26/24/18 (+8/+7/+4)
Dexterity: 14 (+2)
Constitution: 22/16 (+6/+3)
Intelligence: 26/18 (+8/+4)
Wisdom: 12 (+1)
Charisma: 16 (+3)

Combat: 12 + 8 = 20PP
Initiative: +2
Attack: +6 Base, +10 Ranged, +12 Railpistol
Defense: +8 (+4 Base, +4 Dodge Focus), +2 Flat-Footed
Grapple: +14 (+8 Strength, +6)
Knockback: -13 (-10 Impervious, -1 Toughness, -2 Immovable)

Saves: 4 + 4 + 5 = 13PP
Toughness: +12/+6/+3 (+3 Con, +3 Enhanced Con, +6 Protection) [10 Impervious]
Fortitude: +10/+7 (+3 Con, +3 Enhanced Con, +4)
Reflex: +6 (+2 Dex, +4)
Will: +6 (+1 Wis, +5)

Skills: 80R = 20PP
Bluff 2 (+5)

Craft (Electrical) 12 (+20)

Craft (Mechanical) 12 (+20)
Diplomacy 2 (+5)

Disable Device 0/10 (+8/+18) (Little Helper Gadget)
Gather Info 7 (+10)
Intimidate 2 (+5) 
Investigate 6/14 (+14/+22) Skill Mastery (Little Helper Gadget)
Knowledge (Streetwise) 6 (+14)

Knowledge (Technology) 7 (+15)
Notice 7/15 (+10/+18) Skill Mastery (Little Helper Gadget)

Search 0/10 (+8/+18) (Little Helper Gadget)
Sense Motive 9 (+10) Skill Mastery
Stealth 8 (+10) Skill Mastery


Feats: 13PP
Attack Focus (Ranged) 4

Dodge Focus 4

Eidetic Memory


Skill Mastery (Investigate, Notice, Sense Motive, Stealth) 
Uncanny Dodge (Auditory)

Powers: 6 + 8 + 6 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 12 + 10 + 2 + 14 = 68PP

Enhanced Constitution 6 (to Constitution 22 [+6]) [6PP] (Divine, Mutation)


Enhanced Intelligence 8 (to Intelligence 26 [+8]) [8PP] (Divine, Mutation)


Enhanced Strength 6 (to Strength 24 [+7]) [6PP] (Divine, Mutation)


Enhanced Feats 1 (Eidetic Memory) [1PP] (Divine, Mutation)


Quickness 5 [5PP] (Divine, Mutation)


Device 1 (Mask; 5PP Container; Flaws: Hard-To-Lose) [4PP] (Technology)

Immunity 2 (All Suffocation Effects) (Air Recycler; Flaws: Limited) [1PP]
Super Senses 4 (Visual [Penetrates Concealment]) [4PP]


Device 3 (Power Gauntlets and Boots; 20PP Container; Flaws: Hard-To-Lose) [12PP] (Technology)

Enhanced Strength 2 (to Strength 26 [+8]) [2PP]

Impervious Toughness 10 (Impervious Shields; Unreliable [5 Uses]) [5PP]

Protection 6 (Shield Generator) [6PP]

Immovable 2 (Inertial Compensator) [2PP]


Device 3 (Guns; 15PP Containter; Feats: Alternate Power 3, Multiple Weapons 3; Drawbacks: Action [Full Action] (-3PP), Distracting (-2PP); Flaws: Easy-To-Lose) [10PP] (Technology)

BP: Damage 8 (Railpistol; Extras: Range; Feats: Accurate) {15PP/15PP} (Piercing Damage, Ballistic Damage, Metal, Magnetism)

AP: Damage 10 (Energy Blaster; Extras: Explosion, Penetrating 10, Range; Feats: Homing 2, Knockback 1, Variable Descriptor 2; Flaws: Action [Full Action], Side Effect [Damage 10], Unreliable [5 Uses]) {15PP/15PP} (Energy)

AP: Drain Toughness 10 (Entropic Accelerator; Extras: Affects Objects, Explosion, Range; Feats: Incurable, Slow Fade 4; Flaws: Action [Full Action], Side Effect [Damage 10], Unreliable [5 Uses]) {15PP/15PP} (Chaos, Atomic)

AP: Paralyse 10 (Temporal Distorter; Extras: Explosion, Range; Feats: Subtle; Flaws: Action [Full Action], Side Effect [Damage 10], Unreliable [5 Uses]) {11PP/15PP} (Time/Temporal)


Device 1 (Jump Pack; 5PP Containter; Flaws: Easy-To-Lose, Unreliable [5 Uses]) [2PP] (Technology)

Leaping 5 [5PP]


Gadgets 2 (Technological Assistants; 10PP Containter; Flaws: Hard-To-Lose) [14PP] (Technology)

Example Gadgets

Stun 5 (Taser) {10PP/10PP} (Electromagnetic Energy, Electricity)

Obscure 5 (Smoke Generator; Visual Obscure) {10PP/10PP}  (Gas, Smoke)

Damage 5 (Stun Grenade; Extras: Area [Blast]; Feats: Thrown; Drawbacks: Non-Lethal) {10PP/10PP} (Sonic, Impact Damage)

Fatigue 3 (Breathtaker; Extras: Alternate Save [Toughness], Area [Blast]; Feats: Progression 2 [Area], Progression 1 [Save DC, +1], Thrown) {10PP/10PP} (Air, Suffocation)

Little Helper {10PP/10PP}

Enhanced Skills 9 (Disable Device 10, Investigate 8, Notice 8, Search 10) [9PP]

Enhanced Feat 1 (Improvised Tools) [1PP]

Drawbacks: -5PP


Vulnerability (Divine; Frequency: Very Common; Intensity: Major [+100% Effect Rank]) [-5PP]

DC Block

ATTACK              RANGE      SAVE                           EFFECT
Unarmed             Touch      DC 23 Toughness                Damage
Railpistol(Damage)  Ranged     DC 23 Toughness                Damage

Energy Blaster      Ranged     DC 25 Toughness                Damage

Entropic AcceleratorRanged     DC 20 Fortitude                Drain Toughness

Temporal Distorter  Ranged     DC 20 Fortitude                Paralyse

Taser               Touch      DC 15 Fortitude                Stun

Stun Grenade        Thrown     DC 20 Toughness                Damage


Totals: Abilities (34) + Combat (20) + Saving Throws (13) + Skills (20) + Feats (13) + Powers (68) - Drawbacks (-5) = 163/163 Power Points

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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I didn't run the maths or any of hte PL cap stuff on this but some of these constructions need some workshoping.


You need to detail how the masks suffocation immunity is limited.


The Reality Gun has a number of issues.  I'm not entirely clear what the intent here is.


I don't think perception range is what you want here.  Perception is NOT attacks that can't miss.  It's attacks that only require being able to accurately perceive the target.  So through walls/windows/esp/video feeds etc.  regardless of a path to the target.  If you want an attack that doesn't miss you want a high attack bonus on it, and potentially homing so it keeps looping back if it happens to miss on the first pass.  If you did have a perception effect ricochet would be useless.


Affects Objects wouldn't be needed on a toughness save effect as objects are already vulnerable to toughness saves.  That said I don't see how alt save toughness makes more sense than fortitude for either drain or attack insubstantial.  

I don't think incurable and slow fade both apply, IIRC drained traits come back not from the effect fading but the target recovering

Attack insubstantial isn't really going to be useful particularly at rank 4, it might apply the progression(save) feat in broad theory but overall is a fairly odd construction.

Dimensional is not a ranked powerfeat.


2 rounds of suffocate will never have any meaningful effect.  Suffocate is overall a bad power given the time it takes for even a moderately healthy individual to suffer harm from it.  I'd recommend something like a stun/nausea/fatigue effect with a suffocation descriptor.  The no save I don't think actually effects the con check to resist the suffocate but is still not likely ot pass muster.


The sub parts of gadgets should be explicitly labeled as example constructions and should be built as an explicit variable pool construction (with full details of the cost/tier of VP) with either easy or hard to lose depending on how difficult it is to remove them from this guy. (probably hard to lose)



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Yeah I've been working up some more stuff to explain things like the mask's limited suffocation immunity and actually add descriptors. Also thanks for pointing out my mess up with perception which'll save some PP. Homing does sound good as a substitute, thanks.


With Drain, Ultimate Power says that slow fade and incurable are both feats that apply, as slow drain makes the recovery from the drain take longer (Normally 1PP per round), and incurable means using boost or healing or something else without the Persistent feat does not restore a drained target. Ultimate Power also says that Drain does not effect objects without the extra. The Toughness on the save for Drain was a mixture of me being an ass and finding a way to justify it. Draining toughness requiring a toughness save makes it harder to save against subsequent drains, and all his other effects which kinda made sense for his biggest nastiest weapon that he only gets to use 5 times and taking his whole action, so I figured the cheese there would be nicely offset. It also meant that someone might actually manage to fail the save against the Incorporeal attack. As for the justification, accelerating entropy is essentially saying that things getting disorganised or going wrong goes faster (For example increasing entropy on some iron would make it oxidise and fall apart faster,  on a nuclear material would make it decay faster, if something bad but random happens over time it'll just happen faster.) I figured that would make a bit more sense as a Toughness thing since I felt it sounded more like something you'd use toughness to resist than fortitude, also it would allow the entropy accelerator to work against objects which it can't with other saves.

I wasn't aware that progression might work with Save DCs, so I'll use that on Incorporeal, thanks. Also, with Dimensional, the UP pdf reckons it advances the same way as dimensional travel, although I mostly chose it as a way to use points and I might drop it lower to see if I can drag his PP total lower since I don't like it being this high.

I'll fix up the stuff with the gadgets, thanks.

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Right Ability Damage specifically covers non drain (or maybe similar powers) effects so yea slow fade would apply.  That's what I get for replying without booting to  the partition with my pdfs.


It says drain Normally has no effect on objects.  That is because drain Normally provokes a fort save.  Changing the save type means it no longer provokes a fort save so objects could be affected.  Toughness is pretty specifically resistance to damage.  I might go for toughness over for on an objects only effect.  But it wouldn't make much sense on a living target.   Fort covers that sort of resistance.  I'd not approve those powers as toughness saves as they stand.  What you describe is pretty solidly fortitude on living things so leaving it as fort makes the most sense.  


Attack insubstantial remains a sustained effect which I'm not sure how that works with whatever that gun is supposed to be lobbing.  I think there are alot of better effects to use to disable people (stun, paralyze, fatigue, nauseate) that could be amde to work with descriptors and not be the hassle to adjudicate that this kind of attack insubstantial would be.  Also why does hte effect to turn people insubstantial have affects insubstantial on it?


The dimensional I may have missed that part of the feat so it would be a single other dimension by default.  Still not sure the why or how of it being dimensional at that scale though.  Particularly for an aoe effect.  I think the whole concept honestly needs some refining of what that gun is supposed to be.




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