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Thumper (PL 10) Devil'sAdvocate

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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: +3, +20 with Move Object
Knockback: -6, -8 with Impervious

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 (17) + Skills (7) + Feats (13) + Powers (77) - Drawbacks (0) = 150/150 Power Points



Edited by DevilsAdvocate
corrected grapple and knockback
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Mostly small math stuff here:


With +2 Base attack and +1 Strength, Thumper would have a Grapple modifier of +3. You may also want to list the Grapple modifier of the Move Object powers (+20) in case you want to use them to grapple someone or something.


With +12 Toughness, up to 5 of which is Impervious, Thumper would have a Knockback modifier of -6, or -8 with the impervious active, usually written as something like "Knockback: -6/-8 (w/ Impervious)".


Speaking of those Move Object powers: without being flawed down to ferrous material, as-written you can grab absolutely anything with them at Perception range, without having to make an attack roll; that makes sense for mentally controlling metal (telekinesis-type powers are very often Perception range!), but if you're grabbing something not made of metal that's a slightly tougher sell. I may be misunderstanding the power, though - if a villain was fleeing across the rooftop, would Thumper use Move Object to try to catch that person? What would that look like? Forming a hand or platform of metal to catch them is probably Ranged, rather than Perception, but I don't want to make you overcomplicate your build if we don't need to.

(As an aside: we don't see the +Explosion extra much, and this is a really nice use of it. Well done.)


The tally at the bottom of the sheet lists 19pp for Saving Throws, rather than 17pp; once corrected I believe it still adds up to 150pp, though, so you should be on-budget.

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I originally created the base power as being limited by "Ferrous Metals Only." I took that limit off, because I thought there would be some debate as to when I could use it, so the safest route was to spend the points so there would be no debate.


But now I am thinking maybe it just shifts the debate, and maybe to a worse one, so I am thinking maybe I should change it back.


So, let me run through the thought process behind the current version of the base power, and how I was thinking it would work against, let's say, a fleeing bad guy. First, Thumper would sense metals on the bad guy's person: belt buckle, cell phone, shoe eyelets, gear, etc., and "grab" him by those things. I would imagine that if he did so, his power would be limited by how much force he could apply before ripping the metal away from the bad guy. He could also use metal that was lying around: rip a stop sign out and use it to pin someone, for example. My thought was he was "grabbing the bad guy," who is not made of ferrous metal, but there would be complications sometimes. Most of the time he'd be able to find a way to Move Object the bad guy indirectly if not directly.


So, the build avoids the question of whether he can grab the bad guy... but now I am thinking it doesn't really. The questions are still raised in how the complication is applied. And would it make sense to award a Hero Point in that situation? Maybe not? Maybe limiting the effectiveness is better represented by a Flaw than it is the complication, so I am thinking I should rewrite it. Either way, there is GM adjudication, so I should put the adjudication where it makes sense, in the Flaw.


What do you think?


... Also, I probably need to change the "Focused Magnetic Forces" because it breaks the narrative "rule" about the character that his power gets weaker with distance. I just didn't think he should have to roll "to hit." I do think it's a lot like telekinesis, so, if he focuses on one thing, he can just grab it. But, it should have some range limitation of some sort. I just don't know how to build that in.

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Grabbing someone by the buckle/eyelets/etc. makes a certain amount of sense, but it does put the onus on your GM to decide whether or not it'll (1) be enough to actually grab someone, and (2) when and how it'll apply. You may get inconsistent results! If you're okay with that, I'm okay with it.


Bending a stop sign to "grab" someone is probably more of a Ranged attack than a Perception one; imagine the Incorrigible Copyright-Safe Arachnid-Person fighting Doctor Professor Telekinesis. If the Doctor 'grabs' Arachnid-Person directly, there isn't really anything Arachnid can do - they're just instantly grabbed! But if the Doctor picks up some stray pipes and tries to wrap them around the hero, that's something Arachnid-Person can duck away from. Auto-hit vs. attack roll. Make sense?


If you want to do both, it may be worth separate powers in an array (and I have something similar on my geokinetic hero, who can both move earth directly and make earth 'hands' to act indirectly). The metals-only power can be flawed down to...well, to metals only, which makes it cheaper (and thus you can use those points to make it stronger!). The use-metals-to-do-other-Moving power will be more expensive, so slightly less powerful, but that makes a fair bit of sense.



The range limitation is a little harder since it isn't something the game does super well; it doesn't have a range step between "Ranged" (limited range, roll to hit) and "Perception" (unlimited range if you can perceive it, auto-hit). It may depend on how limited you want it; if his range is generous (e.g., easily big enough to cover most combat or action scenarios) but not actually unlimited, that might be worth a Complication where the GM can say, "Alas, the canister of Evil Zombie Liquid has fallen out of your range!".

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Well... I suck. I don't think I'm going to be able to stick around. I've always at least finished my character before vanishing, but not this time.


I thought I'd have more free time and be able to juggle this, but it just doesn't seem to be working out. I'm going to have to put this character on indefinite hold.


I seem to pop back up here every five or six years. Maybe next time it won't have been so long and I'll actually stick around. Sorry, everybody.

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No need to be sorry - rule one of games like this is that real life always comes first.


I'll go ahead and pull this character out of the Character Bank and into Character Building for you. When or if you return, we'll still be here!

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