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Ari

The Un-weaksaucening of The King of Suits.

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Hola, all who glance in here! After refusing to face facts for far too long, I'm going to redo the powers(possibly up to and including complete removal of his shallow and almost useless array) and feats of Marcy's to make him somewhat useful, and not more a liability than anything. The simple fact is that his powers are overly-limited, and the sole useful item, the Super-Strength, is unlikely to stand him in good stead if fighting anything a thrown rock won't faze. His only saving grace, his Grapple, is only useful when used in conjunction with the aforementioned Super-Strength, meaning his only really viable tactic is using his gas-grenade cards and sneaking around to strangle people in the ensuing confusion. This on it's own would be fine, but it isn't much when faced with robots, things stronger than he, or anything intangible or otherwise not easily Grappled. And as it is unlikely that he will never be in a situation where this can't happen, I need to re-think how this guy is going to be built. The original idea behind his construction was that of the perennial Badass Abnormal, someone who has heavy reliance on skills and feats, but can whip out a power or two in a pinch. On itself that would be fine, but I have since realized that he is going to be on teams, and a team needs people to fulfill various niche roles to allow for greater efficiency of action. Having a Jack-of-All-Trades who can do no one thing well might be fine for a solo superhero, but unless I specialize him, he'll have little to offer to any team-up. So, in order to realize this goal of specialization, I'm angling for suggestions of what I ought to focus on, more emphasis on powers, or more on skills and feats?

And yes, I now understand why starting with a PL 10 hero is suggested. If re-doing him as a PL 10 is the best solution, I'll gladly follow that course.

Sheet is below, cut from it is the excessively long and badly-written History section.

Players Name: Arichamus

Characters Name: The King of Suits

Power Level: 7 (110/112PP)

Trade-Offs: -2 Attack / +2 Damage, -3 Defense / +3 Toughness

Unspent PP: 2

Progress to Bronze Status: 7/30

In Brief: A direct relation of every royal house in the world, trying to live up to their legacies.

Alternate Identities: Marceau An-Sallah/Suvou

Identity: Secret, as nobody believes him when he tells them who he is.

Birthplace: Aude, France

Occupation: Janitor for an office building owned and operated by the only clean section of Grant Conglomerate, The accounting staff.

Affiliations: Super-Teams on every continent, as well as Grant Conglomerate, his employer.

Family: Countless relations, but mainly his adoptive father and mother, named Mossar and Erran An-Sallah, respectively, and their four children, none of much importance to him.

Age: 23

Apparent Age: 35

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: African (Moroccan)

Height: 6'7''

Weight: 138 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Black

Description: An-Sallah has a thin, lean chest and long limbs with wiry muscles, his skin lined with scars and small divots. He has four tattoos, the sign of the suit of Clubs on his right shoulder blade, the sign of Diamonds on his left, the sign of Spades on right thigh, and the sign of Hearts on his left. His hair is thick and wiry, and very difficult to maintain, so he keeps it short while in civilian work. His eyes are broadly spaced, and high on his face, giving him an open, honest look. His nose is broad and slightly flat and blunt, with an aquiline hook to the end of it. His mouth, that can be seen from behind his enormous beard, is oddly thin-lipped and angular, and has a slight overbite. His out-door voice can be heard several blocks away, his in-door voice one. At work and on most days, he wears a variety of earth-toned coveralls he bought by the suitcase-load in Moldavia, due to the fact that he can wear his body armor all day and not raise eyebrows. As the King of Suits, he wears long,hooded poncho-like capes, each embroidered with one of the symbols of the four classic suits. To disguise himself, a metal face mask carved to resemble a grinning bearded figure.

Power Descriptions: A power to add to his natural mental and physical attributes stemming from the influence of the constellation-based eugenics program he was the result of. A life spent wandering the desolate places of the world hiding from his enemies has also inured him to extremes of heat and cold. To assist in his quest to become a hero worthy of being a leader of humanity, he uses various salvaged, re-purposed or legally bought tools of offensive or auxillary nature, including a deck of cards sharpened to a razor edge, and some of which were filled with a vastly weaker and diluted form of nitroglycerine..

Personality & Motivation: Marceau is by upbringing and nature deeply religious, and by attendance a believer in Greek Orthodoxy. Despite that, he sees himself as a practical man(all evidence to the contrary aside), with a hard-headed and skeptical outlook on life, which has led him to undertake a study of chemistry, so as to better understand the reason for the physical phenomena he would otherwise spend sleepless nights fretting about, such as how poison is dangerous. Living up to the example of his monarchical forebears is a driving pursuit of his, as he feels that as the only uncrowned king, he must be of unimpeachable character, to make himself worthy of someday ascending to the throne, not to mention making up for the monstrous autocrats that many crowned heads made of themselves. Also unrestrained is his quest for the meaning behind things, and new acquaintances often find themselves in the unenviable position of tour guide to the human mind.

Marceau's desire to be a worthy ruler, not to mention his travels through some of the poorest and most ill-managed regions in the world has born in him a passionate devotion to protecting the 'lower-class' first and foremost. He will actively speak on their behalf or challenge any real or imagined insults against them. Of a similar origin is a deep suspicion of conspiracies of any kind, seeing high-handed assumptions of "the ends justify the means" as insufferable.

Powers & Tactics: Due to his lack of bulk, the King of Suits prefers to hide and wait for a law-breaking victim, then jump out while laughing like a bull being tickled and bash them senseless. If surrounded or otherwise unable to attack from concealment, he'll attempt to charge his way out, or use loose objects against his enemy.

Complications:

Phobia: Terrified of forests, as he lived most of his life in them throughout Southeast Asia.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: His nerve-wracking months in Cambodia have not failed to leave their mark on Marceau's psyche, sharp clashs of metal, gunfire, and just being near a forest can cause him to suffer flashbacks to those days, often causing him to act in an outwardly irrational manner.

Responsibility: Caring for the needy, especially his 'posse' of sundry homeless, harmless lunatics and underemployed vagrants who have latched onto him as their protector against street-gangs and minor organized criminals. If any threat comes against them, Marceau feels honor-bound to aid them.

Responsibility: Making up for the misdeeds of rulers, especially monarchs.

Secret Identity: He's a quiet janitor in civilian life, not very high-profile.

Struggling: Maintenance work doesn't pay much.

Abilities: 4+ 4 + 4 + 0 + 4 + 2 = 18PP

Strength: 14/24 (+2/+7)

Dexterity: 14/24 (+2/+7)

Constitution: 14/24 (+2/+7)

Intelligence: 10/20 (+0/+5)

Wisdom: 14/24 (+2/+7)

Charisma: 12/22 (+1/+6)

Combat: 10 + 8 = 18PP

Initiative: +2/+7

Attack: +5

Grapple: +7, +12 Boost, +17 Super-Strength

Defense: +4 (+4 Base, +0 Dodge Focus), +2 Flat-Footed

Knockback: -1/-3

Saving Throws: 3 + 0 + 1 = 4PP

Toughness: +4/+10 (+1/+7 Con, +3)

Fortitude: +5/+10 (+2/+7 Con, +3)

Reflex: +2/+7 (+2/+7 Dex, +0)

Will: +3/+8 (+2/+7 Wis, +1)

Skills: 68R = 17PP

Acrobatics 4 (+6)

Bluff 4 (+5)

Climb 4 (+6)

Drive 4 (+6)

Diplomacy 4 (+5)

Handle Animal 4 (+5)

Intimidate 4 (+5)

Knowledge (History) 8 (+8)

Knowledge (Physical Sciences) 4 (+4)

Knowledge (Tactics) 4 (+4)

Language 8 (Arabic, English, French [Native], Greek, Hindi, Malay, Mandarin, Russian, Serbian)

Notice 4 (+11)

Stealth 8 (+10)

Survival 4 (+6)

Feats: 21PP

All-Out Attack

Blind-Fight

Choke-Hold

Endurance

Equipment 4 (20EP)

Fearsome Presence (DC11)

Improved Grab

Improved Grapple

Improved Pin

Inspire

Power Attack

Quick Change

Ranged Pin

Set-Up

Sneak Attack

Startle

Stun Attack

Takedown Attack

Equipment wrote:

Armored Jumpsuit (Protection 3) [3EP]

Binoculars [1EP]

Bolos (Snare 4) [8EP]

Commlink [1ep]

Concealable Microphone [1EP]

Gas Mask [1EP]

Handcuffs[1EP]

Multitool [1EP]

Night-Vision Goggles [1EP]

Rebreather [1EP]

Powers: 22 + 12 + 2 = 36PP

Absolute Sundered Empowerment 10 (20PP Array, PFs: Alternate Power, Subtle) (Inherent, Magic) [22PP]

Base Power: Boost 10 (All Abilities, Flaws: Range [Personal]) [20PP]

Alternate Power: Super-Strength 10 [20PP]

Device 4 (20PP Container, Flaws: Easy-To-Lose 2) (Fool's Deck) [12PP]

Fool's Deck 9 (18PP Array, Feats: Alternate Power 2) [20PP]

Base Power: Blast 6 (10 60ft Range Increments, 600ft Max Range, Extras: Penetrating) [18PP]

Alternate Power: Blast 6 (600ft Max Range, Extras: Area [General, Burst, 30ft radius]) [18PP]

Alternate Power: Obscure 9 (Visual Senses, 2,500ft radius Area, 900ft Range) [18PP]

Immunity 2 (Cold, Heat) (Inherent, Natural) [2PP]

DC Block:

CODE: SELECT ALL

ATTACK      RANGE           SAVE                           EFFECT

Unarmed     Touch           DC15/22 Toughness (Staged)     Damage

Blast       Ranged          DC21 Toughness (Staged)        Damage

Blast       Ranged/Area     DC21 Reflex                    1/2 Effect

                            DC21/18 Toughness (Staged)     Damage

Abilities (18) + Combat (14) + Saving Throws (4) + Skills (17) + Feats (21) + Powers (36) - Drawbacks (0) = 110/112 Power Points

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Ill just throw in a few ideas to what I think is a great character!

1. Skills: You could perhaps prune a few of these: Climb and Survival perhaps.

2. Feats: There are a lot of feats here and this is where I think you should concentrate a bit of pruning. Choke hold, The Grapples, Set Up, etc. I think Quick Change might more sensibly be an enhanced trait: Quick Change but thats just nit picking about concept. I would also think about perhaps carry 5 EP less equipment.

3: Power: Sundered Empowermenet. As your stats will drop 1/round which is a) a headache and B) disabling, I would strongly suggest getting Slow Fade 1 (to 1 minute) - or more, depending on how generous the refs are with this.

4: Blast 6 - even with Sneak Attack 1, that puts you at attack +5, and Damage 8 (under caps). I would think about doing something about that, like upping attack to +7, dropping sneak attack, and somehow increasing blast to 7. For more oomph, replace penetrating with autofire, and/or get improved crit for this blast.

EDIT: Forgot to add, with all those skills at rank 4, think about dropping some more and getting beginners luck and luck feats. (or just getting those feats to bump them up to rank 9!)

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Number 1, ditch boost. It sucks (for the most part) unless you're willing to pay for Slow Fade and Total Fade.

Number 2, Maybe some super senses so he can operate while within his own obscure cloud? Also, lower the rank of the obscure and give it slow and total fade as well.

Number 3, You can be more effective by shaving points and min maxing. Try going all ranged or all melee. If you go all melee, it's cheaper, but you have to add in some movement powers so that the melee doesn't get away from you and you're incapable of catching up. A little speed goes a long way. As is, you really really have to hope that no one walks away from you at a pace faster that a brisk walk, or all you're left with is your cards. Which you've already determined is much less effective than your Super Strength.

You alternative to upgrading to pl 10, is to rebuild this guy at pl7. Then go make a PL10 with what you've learned :)

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Number 2, Maybe some super senses so he can operate while within his own obscure cloud? Also, lower the rank of the obscure and give it slow and total fade as well.

Simplest way, Immunity 1 (Own Powers)

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Actually, Immunity won't work, to my knowledge. Immunity is the auto-passing of saves, strictly speaking, and Obscure offers none.

However, Counters Obscure Limited to own powers is 1pp, so it's really an academic difference.

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Thanks very much for these suggestions! To Supercape: Pruning Survival, while sensible, kind of goes against the character concept of a guy who has spent most of his life on his own in the wilderness between cities. Removing Climb is entirely logical, however, and shall be done. Agree entirely with removal of the Grapple feats and Chokehold and Set Up, but would you mind explaining to me how what is listed in the book as a feat can also be an advanced trait? Finally, yeah, going to go with you and Quotemyname's suggestion and cut Boost. Use those extra PP's to jazz up the Fool's Deck Array with some extra effects like Nauseate, etc, etc...

To Quotemyname: Yeah, Boost really wasn't working out, just plain not any reason to use it except to boost skill or save checks, and even then the points I put into it could be spent upgrading the saves and skills directly. On the third point, that's one of those things I wish I has thought of when I was starting this guy out. I had a hazy idea in my head that I could go both ways, like Batman, only now I realize that Batman is(last I checked) almost wholly a close-quarters fighter, with the batarangs and such just for softening up targets before the beatdown. So, that said, I think I'll focus on ranged attacks. Plays better into the idea of s stealth type, and him being a normal man means it doesn't make any sense to try and slug it out when he could reduce risk of injury by finding a hiding place and throwing cards out of it. On the Second point, yeah, I'll go with Raveled's suggestion of Immunity:Own Powers.

To Raveled: That's a very elegantly simple solution, though I think lowering the rank of the Obscure power and giving it Slow&Total Fade works too, and with the array gone, I can well afford it.

To Ecalsneerg: I wasn't aware of that option, is it from Ultimate Power? Thank you for bringing it up.

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Instead of buying a feat normally, you can get the power enhanced trait: [whatever feat you wanted], or even link it to a power.

Its a bit academic but it sometimes make sense. For instance, if you have the quickness power, get quick save linked to it.

Its not really necessary.

I would still think about buying several ranks of luck (as the character strikes me as a lucky guy!) and beginners luck feat: that will cover all sorts of skills in a pinch.

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Thank you all for the extremely helpful suggestions! I'll put them into practice right away.

How does this sound?

1.Removal of the Array with 'Boost' as the Base Power(keeping Super-Strength, just 'cause). Remove 'Subtle' extra.

2. Remove Climb ranks and the Grapple assist feats(Chokehold, Improved Pin, et al...) and also remove All-Out Attack along with Set Up.

3. Remove a rank in Equipment, taking out the Binoculars, Commlink, Gas mask, Re-Breather and Multi-Tool.

4. Put some of those reacquired points into expanding the Fool's Deck Array, adding Nauseate, Dazzle and Stun. (6 PP's)

5. Buy 8 ranks in Craft(Chemical) and Sense Motive. Buy Beginner's Luck and Luck 2. (7 PP's)

6. Put whatsoever is left into increasing his Charisma and Dexterity scores by 2. Buy Enhanced Trait: Counter Obscure[Limited]. (5 PP's)

Edit: Forgot, but also planning on buying Attack Focus(Ranged).

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Alright, new plan! And this time it will stick!

First, removing Array, use 18 of those points to buy an identical number of ranks in Sidekick. Then remove all Grappling assist feats and Chokehold and Power Attack and All-Out-Attack, plus a rank in Equipment(removing Binoculars, Commlink, Gas Mask, Night-Vision Goggles and Re-Breather). Instead buying 2 ranks of Throwing mastery, and Precise shot. Also buying 4 ranks in Knowledge(Current Events), 8 in Craft(Chemical) and increasing Will, Reflex and Fortitude by 2, Attack Focus(Ranged) and Beginner's Luck.

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After consideration, yes, I'll transfer KoS to my PL 10 slot. I've now finalized my plans for what he'll be: Costumed Detective archetype focusing on ranged combat, with a PL 9 supernatural Sidekick focusing on melee combat. Sorry I didn't see this until now, never thought to check it.

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