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Cubist

Jubatus (PL 12) - Cubist (Bronze)

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Players Name: Cubist

Characters Name: Jubatus

Power Level: 13 (175PP/196PP)

Trade-Offs: +2 Attack / -2 Damage, +2 Defense / -2 Toughness

Unspent PP: 21

Progress to Silver Status: 46/60

In Brief: Speedster who is his own worst enemy -- his toughest challenge will be overcoming 'the demons within'

Alternate Identities: Jay Nelson Xavier

Identity: Public (it's kind of hard to maintain a Secret Identity when you're blatantly Not Human...)

Birthplace: San Francisco Bay Area

Occupation: Freelancer specializing in technological troubleshooting and tech writing

Affiliations: Sometimes works with Martin Brandtford of ASTRO Labs for scientific purposes

Family: Parents: Albert Xavier (father -- dead), Rebecca Xavier (mother -- Alzheimer's-stricken 105-year-old in nursing home). Siblings, in birth order: Corrie Xavier (sister, 86), Maxwell Xavier (brother, dead), Dan Xavier (brother, dead), Elaine Xavier (sister, 79), Nancy Xavier (sister, dead), Randolph Xavier (brother, 64). Jube is aware that he has several more-distant relatives (cousins, etc) in various parts of the US and Europe, but has never attempted to build relationships with any of these persons

Age: 66 (DoB: September, 1946)

Apparent Age: Young adult (how old does a cheetah look..?)

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Cheetah (formerly Caucasian)

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 102 lbs

Eyes: Green

Hair: Fur w/ typical cheetah markings -- sandy-yellow w/ black spots all over, with white on the torso's front side

Description: First impression: The guy's a cheetah, end of discussion. A closer look reveals that his braincase is rather larger than that of a 'real' cheetah, and the digits on his forepaws are a fair amount longer, slimmer, and more dexterous than those of a 'real' cheetah (which isn't saying much). He typically doesn't wear anything more than a khaki vest that's got ridiculously many (gadget-filled) pockets.

Power Descriptions: Jubatus' only exotic ability is what he calls "Timeshifting", the power to control how quickly Time flows for himself. He calls it 'upshifting' when he's running faster than normal, and 'downshifting' when he's running slower than normal. This ability has some innate side-effects. One, gravity becomes weaker (when he upshifts) or stronger (when he downshifts). Two, it 'Doppler shifts' all wavelengths (of light or sound or whatever else); when he's running X* faster than normal, he percieves all wavelengths as 1/X of their 'normal' value.

History: With an IQ around 140, Jay Nelson Xavier has been 'the smartest kid in the room' for most of his childhood (and a good fraction of his adult life). Thanks to an intermittent, continuing series of abusive incidents at the hands of his so-called 'peer group', incidents which were either ignored or dismissed as "kids playing around" by adults who were nominally in positions of responsibility, Jay learned early on that most people are stupid or crazy or both... a conclusion which was only reinforced during his adolescence and later years.

For the past 30-40 years, Jay has been a technocrat, specializing in troubleshooting and technical writing; his life was a comfortable routine of accepting, and fulfulling, freelance contracts. That comfortable routine ended in 2011.

Unknown to Jay, he'd been chosen by a Grue sleeper agent as a suitable test-subject for biological experimentation... so one day, Jay went to sleep normal, and woke up with a five-o'clock shadow that just wouldn't quit. Overnight, his body had changed from 'normal human' to 'almost-normal cheetah'. As if the associated changes to his vision, hearing, and other senses weren't bad enough, he also found himself 'floating', as if gravity had somehow been reduced to 1/6 of its customary strength. Confused and disoriented by this radical transformation, Jay managed to dial 9-1-1... and that freaked him out even more: There was no person on the other end of the line, just a slow basso droning. Even worse, Jay discovered that he was no longer capable of speech -- all that came out of his mouth were animal noises! In desperation, Jay barked out the classic SOS code. Then he lost consciousness...

Jay woke up in a hospital room, tied to a bed by loose restraints. During the week or so he spent in hospital, Jay learned about his new, highly cheetah-esque body; what he could and couldn't eat safely, that he was permanently stuck at 6* faster than the rest of the world, etc etc. As well, he figured out how to talk with a vocal tract that can't produce speech (the secret is, make a series of carefully-selected sound effects that sound like the phonemes of spoken language), and how to 'downshift' (slow himself down) to the same speed as everybody else. At which point, he returned to his normal life, as best he could.

A week after his release from hospital, Jay happened to be passing by the site of a five-on-one mugging. Ordinarily, Jay would have just dialed 9-1-1 on his cellphone and let the police handle it... but this time, he couldn't just let the victim suffer, because he was a by-God human being, not a friggin' animal!

Jay thought his monstrous appearance would be enough to drive the thugs away. Wrong: Inhuman he might seem, but he was also obviously scared & underconfident, and he appeared to be a scrawny little bugger (6' tall and 100 lbs). So the thugs figured a weak, frightened animal (albeit one that was a little bit larger than the last animal they'd tortured) would be easy meat. The thugs were very wrong: In the ensuing scuffle, Jay 'upshifted' for the first time, and his 'beast side' took over for the first time... or at least he friggin' well hopes it was his 'beast side' taking over. Because when it was over, Jay was horrified to see all five thugs sprawled out on the asphalt, unmoving, in puddles of their own blood. Jay called for ambulances, and spent the next several minutes puking his guts out.

All five of the thugs were alive when the ambulances arrived. Jay reported the incident to the police, who assured him that there would be no legal repercussions -- it was a clear case of self-defense on behalf of an innocent victim -- which made Jay feel a little better about his having ripped and torn and shredded and... anyway, Jay resolved that the next time he came across a crime-in-progress, he would let the police handle it.

Then the parents of one of the thugs insisted on charging Jay with assault and battery! However the judge might have originally planned to handle this case, Jay derailed that plan by pleading guilty. So the judge was forced to come up with a 'plan B'. Well, it was pretty clear that Jay wanted to be a good citizen, but it was also clear that he was having problems dealing with his newly-transformed body, and that he could be a danger to the public, if those problems weren't dealt with.

In the end, the judge ordered Jay to get the psychological help he so clearly needed. And some few months of treatment later, Jay still had bad days from time to time... but his mental condition was sufficiently improved that when his therapist suggested Jay put his special abilities to public-spirited use, Jay agreed. And now Jay battles injustice with the blazing speed of... Jubatus!

Personality & Motivation: Jay Nelson Xavier has never been anyone's idea of a superhero. He's a cynical, hardshell pragmatist, and while he does have altruistic impulses, his life experiences have forcibly taught him that acting on said impulses usually has a bad outcome. However, he has recently come to understand that the results of ignoring altruistic impulses can be worse. Jay has few friends, and he likes it that way -- especially now that his brain has been rewired to add cheetah traits/instincts, such as their generally solitatry nature. Jay, a detail-oriented fussbudget, is aware that he's more competent than most people, but where some might think "damn, I'm great!", Jay wonders "why can't they do it, too?"

Part of the reason Jay acts as a superhero is because he believes his cheetah-like body is doomed to die of old age within 2-3 years, and he's determined to make as much of a difference as he can, while he's still capable. In reality, Jay's accelerated metabolism heals the ravages of Time as quickly they occur, so he's effectively immune to aging -- he just doesn't know this yet.

Powers & Tactics: Jube is about speed and precision, not brute force. He prefers the surgically exact strike to carpet-bombing, pre-planned activity to improvisation.


Complications:

Can't Touch Me: Jube's Danger Sense is permanently active -- he cannot shut it down -- and whenever the DS thinks there's trouble inbound, it actives his Timeshift for Jube...

The Nature of the Beast: Jube's eyes and ears are cheetah-normal; thus, he has lousy color discrimination, and he cannot hear any sounds below 100 Hz or so. The digits on his forepaws are longer and slimmer than those of normal cheetahs, but nowhere near as good as human fingers; hence Jube's manual dexterity suffers at times. Obligate carnivore; chewing on one leaf won't hurt him, but a whole salad would give him horrible diarrhea. Human-style clothing is very uncomfortable -- it chafes against his fur and makes him overheat, not to mention his skeletal structure is all wrong for it -- so he wears as little of it as he can get away with. Jube's voice sounds terrible; he can't actually speak, so he strings together carefully-selected sound effects to produce 'speech' which is easy to comprehend. Jube is naturally quadrupedal, but he insists on standing up on his hind legs anyway, no matter how much it hurts.

Thou Shalt Not...: Jube is very very very opposed to killing anything, and takes a rather dim view of even inflicting injury; he's scared spitless that the scent of blood might allow his 'beast side' to take over.

Time Will Let Me: Jube's Timeshift affects gravity (Timeshifting slower = stronger gravity; faster = weaker gravity). He can Timeshift to slower than normal, with the accompanying effect on personal gravity. As well, the Timeshift affects anything with a wavelength; when Jube is running N* faster than normal, he percieves the frequency of an X-Hertz sound as (X/N) Hz, and analogous color-shifts affect light. This quirk affects Jube's Infravision, Ultravision, and Ultrasonic Hearing, and he may eventually learn to exploit it for X-ray Vision.

Too Darn Fast: Jube's bodily processes (metabolism, nerve impulses, etc) are permanently stuck at 6* normal speed; in order to interact with normal-speed characters, he must use his Timeshift power to slow down to their speed. As well, he needs to eat 6* more than anyone else; Jube going 1 day without food affects him much the same way a normal person would be affected by not eating for 6 days straight. Similarly, Jube's sleep cycle is 1/6 as long as that of any normal person.

Abilities: - 4 + 18 + 4 + 8 + 6 + 2 = 34pp

Str 20/6 (+5/-2)

Dex 28 (+9)

Con 14 (+2)

Int 18 (+4)

Wis 16 (+3)

Cha 12 (+1)

Combat: 12 + 20 = 32PP

Initiative: +9/+37

Attack: +6 Base, +12 Melee

Grapple: +16/+10

Defense: +10 (+10 Base), +5 Flat-Footed

Knockback: -5, -1 Flat-Footed

Saving Throws: 4 + 0 + 6 = 10

Toughness: +10 (+2 Con, +8 Defensive Roll) / +2 Flat-Footed

Fortitude: +6 (+2 Con, +4)

Reflex: +9 (+9 Dex, +0)

Will: +9 (+3 Wis, +6)

Skills: 32R = 8PP

Knowledge: Business 4 (+8)

Knowledge: Current Events 4 (+8)

Knowledge: Technology 5 (+9)

Knowledge: Theology and Philosophy 5 (+9)

Language 2 (English [native], Spanish, French)

Notice 6 (+9)

Sense Motive 4 (+7)

Stealth 2 (+11)

Feats: 24PP

Attack Focus (Melee) 6

Benefit: Wealth 2

Defensive Roll 4 (+8 Toughness)

Eidetic Memory

Environmental Adaptation (Low Gravity)

Evasion

Fearless

Improvised Tools

Jack of All Trades

Master Plan

Online Research

Stunning Attack

Takedown Attack

Uncanny Dodge (Motion Sense)

Well-Informed

Powers: 1 + 6 + 2 + 2 + 5 + 6 + 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 35 = 67PP

Feature 1 (Mimicry: Jube's throat produces excellent sound effects) [1PP]

Gadgets 1 (5PP Variable Power, Any Power, Multiple Powers At Once; Extras: Duration [Continuous]; Flaw: Easy to Lose) [6PP]

Example Gadgets

Stuff from the Core book:

Binoculars [1EP]

Commlink [1EP]

Cutting Torch (Blast 1, Drain Toughness 1) [3EP]

Digital A/V recorder [1EP]

Ear Protection (+5 vs Auditory Dazzle)) [1EP]

Fire Extinguisher [1EP]

Flash-defense goggles (+5 vs Visual Dazzle)) [1EP]

Forensics kit [1EP]

Gas mask [1EP]

GPS Unit [1EP]

Handcuffs [1EP]

Lock Release Gun [1EP]

Mini-Tracer [1EP]

Palmtop (PDA) [1EP]

Police Scanner [1EP]

Rebreather [1EP]

Swiss Army Knife (i.e. Multi-Tool) [1EP]

UV 'Blacklight' [1EP]

Stuff that isn't in the Core Book, but seemed reasonable for Jube to have:

Duct Tape: Snare 5 (Flaw: Touch) [5PP]

Small, Throwable Objects: Damage 2 (Extra: Ranged; Feat: Rapidfire) [5PP]

Fluff; these items probably won't ever have much effect on combat, but Jube carries them anyway:

Spare batteries (all kinds/sizes needed for his gadgets)

Food-like substances (i.e., beef jerky, protein bars, etc)

Vials of concentrated energy fluid (i.e., Rockstar/Monster/Red Bull)

Immunity 2 (Aging, Cheetah-Specific & Human-Specific Diseases) [2PP]

Regeneration 2 (Recovery Rate: Bruised 1 [1 round], Staggered 1 [20 minutes]) [2PP]

Strike 4 (Feats: Mighty) (claws, fangs) [5PP]

Super-Movement 3 (Safe Fall, Sure-Footed, Wall-Crawling) [6PP]

Super-Movement 1 (Water Walking, Drawback: Power Loss [Only when Timeshifted > 6*]) [1PP]

Super-Senses 3 (Danger Sense, Tremorsense [Tactile Sense; Extras: Ranged]) (motion sense) [3PP]

Super-Senses 4 (Low-Light Vision, Normal Olfactory Sense [Extras: Acute, Tracking], Ultrasonic Hearing) [4PP]

Super-Senses 1 (Infravision; Drawback: Power Loss [Only when Timeshifted < 6*]) [1PP]

Super-Senses 1 (Ultravision; Drawback: Power Loss [Only when Timeshifted > 6*]) [1PP]

Timeshift (35PP Container [Active]) [35PP]

  • Enhanced Feats 7 (Improved Initiative 7) [7PP]
  • Enhanced Strength 14 [14PP]
  • Quickness 7 (250) [7PP]
  • Speed 7 (1,000 MPH/10,000' per Move Action) [7PP]
DC Block:

ATTACK  RANGE  SAVE vs.                EFFECT

Unarmed Touch  Toughness, DC19 (15+4)  Damage (Physical)

Strike  Touch  Toughness, DC24 (15+9)  Damage (Physical)

Blast   Range  Toughness, DC17 (15+2)  Damage (Physical) / from Gadgets

Snare   Touch  Reflex, DC15 (10+5)     Entanglement / from Gadgets

Abilities (34) + Combat (32) + Saving Throws (10) + Skills (8) + Feats (24) + Powers (67) = 175PP/196PP

Edited by Fox
+1pp for July 2013

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The mugging sounded like a clearcut case of self-defense. If he was railroaded through the injustice system for whatever reason, that should be clearly stated in the backstory. Unlike real life, where such miscarriages of justice are all too frequent, the World of Freedom is a magical fantasy land where the cops and courts are actually the good guys the majority of the time.

Also...why the hell did a bunch of street punks try to mug a freaking CHEETAH?

Take a hard look at his list of Complications, keeping in mind that Complications are supposed to be potential sources of inconvenience for the character, and prune away the ones that simply reflect aspects of his personality.

Your math was off on the powers. I fixed it. You're 4PP overbudget.

You could scrounge up 1PP if you want to give his "X-Ray Vision" the common 1PP Power Loss drawback against lead.

(We looked at "X-Ray Vision," realized that it's just the 4PP "Penetrates Concealment" extra applied to your Normal Vision, and realized that there was no mechanical reason why you should have to choose a substance that it cannot pierce without actually getting a Drawback or Complication for doing so.)

There's no reason to buy a 1EP piece of Equipment as an AP in an array. The only difference between a 1EP piece of Equipment and a 1EP AP is that the latter can't be used at the same time as another AP in the same array.

As a general note, when writing up characters in the future, alphabetical order and paragraphs are your friend. This board software doesn't seem to recognize attempts at indenting, so the only way to establish separate paragraphs is to just skip a line.

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The mugging sounded like a clearcut case of self-defense.
Yep, it was. I wanted a scenario in which Jay committed a heinous-enough act to justify his being called into court for it, but with sufficient mitigating factors that it would be reasonable for the judge to not just lock Jay's fuzzy butt away for whatever length of prison term.

If he was railroaded through the injustice system for whatever reason, that should be clearly stated in the backstory. Unlike real life, where such miscarriages of justice are all too frequent, the World of Freedom is a magical fantasy land where the cops and courts are actually the good guys the majority of the time.
My take on it: The dead guy had a close relative who insisted on bringing the case to court. No matter how excellent the legal system is, you're going to have problems preventing random people from starting ridiculous court cases, not so? The judge might well have felt like throwing the case out... but with a defendant who's pleading guilty right off the bat, the judge would've had to issue some kind of sentence. Yes? No?

Also...why the hell did a bunch of street punks try to mug a freaking CHEETAH?
One: They're drunk or high on [insert name of drug here]. Two: When Jay stands on his hind legs (as he always does), he's about 6' tall and 100 lbs. In other words, he is one scrawny-looking sumbish, hence could be viewed as an easy 'mark' by some criminals. Three: This is supposed to have happened very early in Jay's existence as a non-human lifeform, hence he's still pretty scared and underconfident and so forth, hence he's basically giving off high-intensity "I'm a victim" vibes, hence he's a perp magnet.

If those three factors do not reduce the implausibility enough, an obvious alternative occurs to me: The thugs were engaged in doing something heinous to an innocent victim when Jay happened to pass by. Jay decides to intervene. The thugs take violent exception. The thugs end up thrashed, one of them badly-enough thrashed to die in hospital N days later. Better?

Take a hard look at his list of Complications, keeping in mind that Complications are supposed to be potential sources of inconvenience for the character, and prune away the ones that simply reflect aspects of his personality.
This would seem to be a point regarding which my HeroSystem experience has led me astray (see also: Psychological Limitations). I will review the (overly long) list of Complications, as you suggest...

Your math was off on the powers. I fixed it. You're 4PP overbudget.
Frump! Thank you for catching my error(s), and I'll see what I can do about shaving the extra 4 points I hadn't realized I was spending.

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THis post serves only as a signpost to make it clear that I've updated the character. See (edited) first post for the updated character sheet.

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I believe Shaen's still working on the first judgment, but I do have a question, something that isn't quite clear in his description: does this guy walk on two legs or four? You describe hims as being basically a cheetah with a slightly larger-than-average braincase, raccoon-like hands, and a vest, but you don't say whether his posture's shifted. I'm assuming he's still as bipedal as the human he was, but it is best to ask for clarity. If he's a quadruped, I'd say that'd be worth a Complication.

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I believe Shaen's still working on the first judgment, but I do have a question, something that isn't quite clear in his description: does this guy walk on two legs or four? You describe hims as being basically a cheetah with a slightly larger-than-average braincase, raccoon-like hands, and a vest, but you don't say whether his posture's shifted. I'm assuming he's still as bipedal as the human he was, but it is best to ask for clarity. If he's a quadruped, I'd say that'd be worth a Complication.
Like it says in his "Nature of the Beast" Complication: "Jube is naturally quadrupedal, but he insists on standing up on his hind legs anyway, no matter how much it hurts." You can teach a dog to stand up on its hind legs, right? Same general idea here. If it was just a matter of anatomy, Jube should be exclusively quadrupedal -- but there's also Jube's pathological refusal to accept his non-human status. "Animals go on four legs. I am not an animal. Therefore, I go on two legs, and that's all there is to it!!1!"

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You can teach a dog to stand on its hind legs, yes, but it'll be terribly unbalanced the whole time, and probably in some pain (since its legs aren't meant to go that way). But as a Complication, it means a GM can impose some minor circumstance penalties for when he stands too long, and you'll get an HP for the trouble.

You should probably change the line about human-style clothing being uncomfortable due to his fur, and note that it's uncomfortable because of the fur and because his skeletal structure is all wrong for it.

Actually, I'll edit that in, because having you do that would hold up my :approved: stamp :)

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