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Magnetic Control Guy - WIP

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Power Level: 
10 (150/150PP)
Unspent Power Points: 0
Trade-Offs: -2 Defense / +2 Toughness


In Brief: Thumper controls a powerful electromagnetic field around himself, letting him fly and throw cars at people.


Alternate Identity: Steve Maxwell (Secret)
Birthplace:  Freedom City

Residence: Freedom City, Southside.
Base of Operations: Maxwell's Salvage on the Southside
Occupation:  Salvage Yard Operator
Affiliations: "On probation" with AEGIS.
Family: Father George Maxwell, mother Genevieve Woods Maxwell, and two younger siblings, Lucas(13 yo) and Emily (5 yo).


Age: 19 (DoB: Year 2003)
Gender:  Male
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Height:  5' 9"
Weight:  175 lbs
Eyes:  Blue-Gray
Hair:  Brown



He has curly brown hair that he keeps a little shaggy. He is in good physical condition from working in mechanics and construction all of his teen life. He typically wears jeans and a long sleeve work shirt.


His costume is made of flexible panels of silver wire mesh with a blue undersuit and riding cape. His headpiece is a gray stretch fabric that is open in the face. He wears tinted goggles and a facemask over it. The facemask includes gas filters and a voice changer / amplifier. There is a wide leather belt around his waist holding a Faraday-protected pouch for his cell phone and personal items, and holsters for his "thumper disks."




Steve lives with his family that runs a salvage yard on the outskirts of Southside, Maxwell Salvage. He first realized he had superpowers at the age of 13. He could control magnetic forces and sense metal objects in his immediate vicinity, and could shut down some electrical devices. He wasn't very powerful, though. He could move about five pounds or so. The only practical application he found for it was opening locks. He kept his powers a secret. There seemed no sense in attracting attention to himself for such a useless ability.


Shortly after Steve graduated high school, his mother fell sick. The medical bills were sending the family deeper into debt. He thought of a way his powers might help the family, but it turned his stomach to even think about it. He knew a kid from school, Tony Ricca, that was connected to a mob family. He figured he had his powers for a reason and he needed to swallow his pride and do what he had to do. He approached Tony and let him know about his powers, and his willingness to do some work for some quick cash.


Steve helped Tony's family pull a heist on a pharmaceutical distributorship. He unlocked the doors and bypassed the security, shut off the cameras, and the Riccas made off with boxes of product.


Steve was wracked with guilt that night and decided to back out of the arrangement he made with Tony. He called Tony and told him that would be the last job and he didn't even want to get paid for it, he just wanted out. Tony calmed Steve down and persuaded Steve to meet him on the edge of the salvage yard.


Tony didn't show up alone. He and his crew beat Steve with baseball bats, dragged him to junked car and dropped the car in the compactor. They started the compacter up and, because the noise would draw attention, they left immediately.


The trauma of being crushed to death awakened the full potential of Steve's powers. In desperation, he pushed with all his strength, freeing himself from the compactor, but destroying it in the process.


Steve was discovered by his family, collapsed on the ground, all metal pushed away from him in a fifty-foot circle. He confessed what had happened and what he had done. They didn't want him to go to the police, but given Steve's insistence that he do something to do bring Tony and his family to justice, his parents reluctantly agreed to help him put together a costume to hide his identity.


They worked at assembling the pieces of his first costume made of hammered sheet metal. His little brother Kyle insisted he had to have a cool superhero name, but he didn't have any ideas. Their little sister Emily's contribution was that the name should be 'Thumper,' because that was her favorite character in the movie Bambi. The idea was roundly rejected by both of the boys.


The next day, Steve confronted Tony and his crew, making quick work of them and attracting the attention of police and media who showed up faster than Steve had anticipated. A reporter asked him who he was, and Steve froze. He hadn't thought of a name yet! He said the first thing that came to mind: 'Thumper.' He cringed at the realization he'd be stuck with that name forever and immediately flew away out of embarrassment.


Still feeling wracked with guilt, the next day Steve decided there was one more person he had to face. He flew to Lee Pharmaceutical, the site of the theft, and met with the owner, Mr. Jung-Suk Lee. Steve revealed his true identity and admitted his role in the theft. Mr. Lee comforted the young man, telling him they recovered all of the stolen product, and he was not going to press charges against Steve or reveal his identity.


Lee admired Steve and, being a big superhero comics fan himself, relished the opportunity to be involved with a new hero. However, he warned Steve that AEGIS was involved in the investigation of the theft because it was obvious super powers were involved.


While Mr. Lee never revealed Steve to AEGIS, it didn't take long for the investigators to put together that Steve was involved in the theft and that he was the new superhero Thumper. Agent Ronald Laufenberg confronted Steve only days later, offering Steve a kind of "probation" with him. He and the agency would monitor him and make sure he gets off to a good start in the Superhero world. Agent Laufenberg insisted on Steve installing a radio communicator in his costume so he can report when he's "on the job."


Steve now wears a better costume, thanks to the combined resources of Mr. Lee and AEGIS, made of a light weight and flexible metal mesh that fits into a small pack.


Personality & Motivation:

Steve is a modest and good-humored young man who has a strong sense of responsibility, especially towards his family. He still feels deeply guilty about the crime he committed and is trying to make up for it. The experience has taught him that people make mistakes and can still be good people.


He believes he has a duty to his family, community, and city to use his powers for Good.


Powers & Tactics:


Thumper can control a powerful electromagnetic field around his body. He can exert force against ferrous metals, pushing or pulling against them. The farther away the metal, the less force he can use. He can sense electromagnetic fields and transmissions. He can also sense the exact location and shape of any ferrous metal object within a large radius by "touching" them with his power. He has a limited amount of power which he can distribute between a number of different effects, from boosting his flight, to strengthening his personal forcefield, or to propel metal objects at high velocity.


Because his power relies on pushing and pulling metal, he carries four "Thumper" disks, which are really just 2.5 lb. dumbbell weights coated with a rubbery plastic to disguise their nature and to make them easier to use non-lethally against opponents. He can "thump" people with them or he can use them as anchor points to let him push harder with his power.


His armor is actually very low tech. It's made of a light, flexible metal mesh that doesn't provide much protection by itself, but by "energizing" it with his personal field, it becomes very resilient. His costume also has flash goggles (mainly to allow him to fly at 250 mph), a gas mask, a voice changer and amplifier (because he's normally flying 50 to 100 feet away), and a radio communicator able to connect to cell networks.


His main tactic is to survey the situation with his magnetic senses from a distance and use his Move Object power to pin opponents, flying as necessary to get the best angles for pushing or pulling. 


Power Descriptions:

His powers are based on magnetism and his personal electromagnetic field. His manipulation of magnetism is completely invisible to normal senses, but can be sensed with any device that detects electromagnetic fields.



Secret Identity: He tries to keep knowledge of is real identity out of the public to protect his family. Currently, it is known by his family, AEGIS agent Ronald Laufenberg, and Mr. Jung-Suk Lee.


On Probation: AEGIS is keeping tabs on Steve and requiring him to report to them regularly. They may pull him in for help on a case, to question him about recent activities, or for compulsory training.


Responsibility: He works hard to keep his family afloat. His dad runs the family business, Maxwell Salvage, but relies on Steve's help. Now Steve is planning to get a business degree which he hopes will help him build the family business, but it is another demand on his time.


Tenderhearted: He is a very gentle person who doesn't like to hurt others or their feelings.


Equal and Opposite Reaction: When Thumper pushes or pulls with his power, he is pushed and pulled in return. Unless he is using only one or two ranks of Move Object, he has to push / pull objects in the opposite direction to stay in place. He can spread the force out over several objects within range, and can use things like underground wires, lamp posts, water hydrants, and cars, so it is normally not an issue. His flight power is from pushing against metal objects, too. He can't fly more than about 1000' from metal to push or pull against. In a pinch, he can use his "Thumper" disks to anchor or push off of.


Needs That Heavy Metal!: His powers require acting on ferrous metals to push and pull against. His Move Object does not have the "Ferrous Metals Only" flaw because he can usually find metal objects nearby or use the metal objects he carries with him to push or pull other things.


Abilities: 2 + 2 + 6 + 4 + 4 + 6 = 24 PP
Strength: 12 (+1)
Dexterity: 12 (+1)
Constitution: 16 (+3)
Intelligence: 14 (+2)
Wisdom: 14 (+2)
Charisma: 16 (+3)

Combat: 4  + 8  = 12 PP
Initiative: +6
Attack: +2 Base 
Defense: +8 (+4 Base, +2 Dodge, +2 Shield), +4 Flat-Footed

Grapple: +0
Knockback: -0

Saving Throws: 6 + 4 + 7  = 17 PP
Toughness: +12 (+3 Con, +2 Protection, +7 Force Field)
Fortitude: +8 (+2 Con, +6)
Reflex: +5 (+1 Dex, +4)
Will: +9 (+2 Wis, +7)

Skills: 28 R = 7 PP
Craft [Mechanical] 5 (+7)

Craft [Structural] 3 (+5)

Diplomacy 2 (+5)

Disable Device 4  (+5)

Drive 2 (+3)

Knowledge [Business] 1 (+3)

Knowledge [Pop Culture] 2 (+4)

Knowledge [Streetwise] 3 (+5)

Notice 3 (+5)

Sense Motive 3 (+5)

Feats: 13 PP


Equipment 2

Improved Initiative

Improved Pin

Improved Throw

Improved Trip



Lucky 2

Move-By Action

Uncanny Dodge [Mental]


Equipment: 10EP

  • Handcuffs (2 pair) [2 EP]
  • Gas Mask [1 EP]
  • Voice Changer / Amplifier [1 EP]
  • Flash Goggles [1 EP]
  • "Thumper" Disks (Dumbbell Weights) [1 EP]
  • Headquarters - The Hutch [4 EP]
    • Size: Small
    • Toughness 10
    • Communications
    • Living Space
    • Workshop


Powers (Mutant): 48 + 4 + 13 + 12 = 77 PP


Magnetic Control Array 20 (40 PP Array, Feats: Alternate Power 4, Variable Power 4) [48 PP] (Magnetism)

  • Base Power (Variable): Move Object 10 (Magnetic Forces, Heavy Load: 12 Tons, Extras: Damaging, Explosion [General], Penetrating (3 Ranks), Selective, Flaws: Push / Pull Only, Range [Touch], Feats: Precise, Progression 4 [-1 rank of effect per 100'], Subtle [electromagnetic senses], Variable Descriptor [Magnetism, Physical]) [40 PP]
  • Alternate Power (Variable)Move Object 10 (Focused Magnetic Forces, Heavy Load: 12 Tons, Extras: Damaging, Penetrating (7 Ranks), Range [Perception], Flaws: Push / Pull Only, Feats: Precise, Subtle [electromagnetic senses], Variable Descriptor [Magnetism, Physical]) [40 PP]
  • Alternate Power (Variable)Blast 10 (Thrown Metal Objects and Electrical ArcsExtras: Explosion [General], Penetrating (1 Rank), Selective, Flaws: Range [Touch], Feats: Progression 4 [-1 rank of effect per 100'], Indirect 3, Subtle [electromagnetic senses], Variable Descriptor [Electrical, Physical]) [40 PP]
  • Alternate PowerBlast 10 (Rail GunExtras: Penetrating [10 Ranks], Range [Perception]) [40 PP]
  • Alternate Power (Variable)Flight 4 (Stacks to Flight 5: 250 MPH) [8 PP]; Nullify 3 [All Electromagnetic Effects] (EM Field Control, Extras: Explosion [General], Selective, Duration 2 [Sustained], Flaws: Range [Touch], Feats: Progression 4 [-1 rank of effect per 100'], Subtle) [20 PP]; Benefit 5 (Adds Extra: Impervious 5 to Toughness) [5 PP]; Obscure 6 (Radio, 250' Radius, Extra: Selective, Flaw: Range [Touch], Feats: Subtle) [7 PP]


Flight 1 (10 MPH, Feats: Subtle 2) [4 PP]


Super-Senses 13 (Magnetic Senses) [13 PP]

  • Detect EM Radiation / Fields (Mental, Ranged, Radius, Accurate, Acute)
  • Detect Ferrous Metal (Mental, Ranged, Radius, Accurate, Acute, Extended [-1 / 100'])


Device 3 (Metal Mesh Costume, 15 DP Container, Hard to Lose) [12 PP]

  • Protection 2 [2 DP]
  • Force Field 7  [7 DP]
  • Shield 2 [2 DP]
  • Communication 4 (Radio, 1 Mile Range) [4 DP]


Drawbacks: 0 = -0PP

DC Block

Unarmed Touch  DC 16 Toughness Damage
Magnetic Forces -1 / 100' DC 20 Reflex +20 Grapple Grab, Damage (Physical, Magnetism)
Focused Magnetic Forces Perception +20 Grapple DC 25 Toughness (Penetrating 7) Grab, Damage (Physical, Magnetism)
Thrown Metal Objects and Electrical Arcs -1 / 100' DC 20 Reflex DC 25 Toughness (Penetrating 1) Damage (Electrical, Physical)
Rail Gun Perception DC 25 Toughness (Penetrating 10) Damage (Physical)
EM Field Control -1 / 100' DC 13 Will Nullify (Electromagnetic)


Totals: Abilities (24) + Combat (12) + Saving Throws (19) + Skills (7) + Feats (13) + Powers (77) - Drawbacks (0) = 150/150 Power Points



Edited by DevilsAdvocate
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This character's main schtick is Move Object on metal stuff, so I have to really understand it's limits. I could use some help understanding Move Object and what it can and can't do.

  • What is an "Object?" He can detect ferrous metal accurately. Could he use Move Object to pull metal components out of walls? Rip out nails, a length of pipe, wiring, and such? Pull the engine out of a car? Pull a wheel off a car? Are those separate objects, or are they part of a larger object? My thought is that doing these things would cause damage, so I need to buy the Damaging Extra, but then I'm wondering what happens. I try to pull the wheel off of a car, I do damage to the car with damaging effect. Do I get the wheel? Or is it just a damaged car? How much damage would it take to remove the wheel?
  • How much individual control is there with a Selective Area? I have his Move Object with a Selective Area. Could he select two objects, push one away and pull the other towards himself? Could he grab and pin one and just damage the other? Or would he have to do the same thing to each one? If so, what would the "same thing" even be? If he is pushing two targets, one on each side of him, that is the "same thing," but they are moving in opposite directions, so is it the same? My guess is that the actions have to be reasonably similar. I think I could push one target and pull another, especially if I were trying to ram them into each other, but I don't think I could get super complex with pushing one, pulling one, pinning one, damaging two others...  in other words, I should be able to describe what I'm doing to selected targets in a fairly simple sentence. The limits would be narrative sense and GM fiat. Or are the limits tighter than that? Or is it really "the sky's the limit?"
  • With the "Ferrous Metal Only" Flaw, how much can he affect non metal things indirectly? There's a bad guy with a gun. I'm sure my character can grab the gun and disarm him. Could he grab the gun and and pin him with it? Pin him by grabbing his belt buckle? Throw him with the belt buckle? Could he use metal objects in the area to pin someone down? Maybe rip out a stop sign and push someone against a wall with it? I think maybe the belt buckle but not the stop sign or the gun because he'd really be using the power on the bad guy, who has no metal intrinsically to move. I'm thinking of buying an alternate power Move Object without the "metal only" flaw and having a complication that there needs to be some metal around to use against non-metal targets. But then, am I targeting the bad guy with Move Object and the metal pieces are just narratively pulled out and used the same round, or would I have to free up some metal pieces first? Oh, I guess, it would depend on whether I want the HP. Anyway, would it work like this?
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My big advice is to avoid overthinking it: 

1. If you want to damage something with your Move Object, buy the Damaging extra. If you want a Blast effect (i.e., Ranged Damage, firing nails at bullet speed or something), buy that as an AP of the Move Object. The last batch of questions are things to solve at the GM level. 

2. Selective Area is pretty powerful but it's so expensive you'll have a hard time getting it close to PL, and it's generally not worth it significantly below your PL. 

3. If you want to do those things, you should buy APs like Snare, etc to represent those effects. 

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10 hours ago, Avenger Assembled said:

My big advice is to avoid overthinking it: 

That sounds like very good advice. I tend to overthink things. Even as I was drafting those questions, I was thinking that, "man, maybe you are just way overthinking things..." ☺️

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