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Stormstallion

Hardcore (PL10) - Stormstallion

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Player Name: Stormstallion

Character Name: Hardcore

Power Level: 10 (150/150PP)

Trade-Offs: -2 Defense / +2 Toughness, +2 Attack / -2 DC Modifier

Unspent PP: 0

Progress To Bronze Status: 0/30

In Brief: Taciturn mutant street vigilante who's tough as nails and damn hard to hurt.

Alternate Identity: Francis "Frank" Kirby O'Donnell

Identity: Secret

Birthplace: Southside, Freedom City

Occupation: Laborer, Semi-Pro Boxer

Affiliations: Albright Institue (Occasional Test Subject), Our Lady of Mercy

Family: None (Father and Mother deceased, only child)

Age: 30 (March, 1981)

Apparent Age: Mid-30's (He's been a laborer all his life and it shows)

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Scotts-Irish

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 185 lbs

Eyes: Gray

Hair: Sandy-Blonde

Description:

In General - Frank O'Donnel is tall and muscular, with a face like a granite massif, possessing high, prominent cheekbones and a strong chin. His hair is a sandy-blonde mop which gets unruly even at moderate lengths, so he keeps it cut short. His nose is flat and crooked, having been broken three times over the course of his life. His eyes are colored a hard, steely gray, surrounded with scar tissue - the legacy of many black eyes. They tend to look flat and dull, leading people to think he is stupid, but occasionally they come to life, snarling with ferocity or flashing with keen insight, which can be quite startling to strangers. His expression is usually stoic bordering on grim, but on the rare occasions he smiles he looks suprisingly boyish and almost handsome. His hands are quite large, calloused and rough from a lifetime of fighting and labor. They are as hard as rocks and as strong as clawhammers. His voice is a deep, harsh baritone - Frank has joked in the past that he sounds like he gargles with razor blades.

Civilian Clothing - T-shirts, flannel shirts and work jeans, along with sneakers and boots. He has a few collared, button-down shirts, clip-on ties and dress slacks for the rare formal occasion, but does not own a suit.

Costume - Frank's costume as Hardcore is very basic, since he can't afford anything elaborate. It consists of a navy-blue or black sweatshirt, black jeans, brown leather gloves and steel-toed work boots. A large graffiti-style red colored H decorates the front of the sweatshirt. He wears a face mask to conceal his identity - it's a heavily modified hocky mask reinforced with sheet metal. It looks vaguely skull-like, and he's blackened it so it doesn't reflect too much light. It covers him from hair-line to the line of his chin, with a rectangular section cut out to expose his mouth. Hardcore wears a trench coat and a hat when on patrol to be less conspicuous, but usually sheds them before going into action if he has the chance. The trench coat and hat are a bit of an affection - it amuses Hardcore to be dressed up like Sam Spade or the Continental Op when he's walking the streets at night. When active as Hardcore, Frank's eyes appear much sharper, his gaze almost agressively direct; normal people (ie most non-powered npcs) have a hard time looking Hardcore in the eyes because of their ferocity.

Power Descriptions: Mutation. Hardcore was a latent mutant whose powers may never had become active if not for his near-death experience at the hands of some petty thugs. The trauma caused by the assault triggered his mutation, and Hardcore is now incredibly tough and extremely hard to hurt, his body healing injuries at an inhumanly accelerated rate. His regenerative abilities have also raised his strength to a higher plateau and increased his constitution to superhuman levels.

History: “You gotta be a good kid, Frank. There's so much bad around, hurting people that don't deserve it, that the world needs all the good it can get.â€

My dad told me that when I was little, and I believed him, because he was a man worth believing. He did his best to be good all his life. He played by the rules, kept his word when he gave it, and never said 'yes' when he meant 'no'. He was polite and kind to people worth being polite and kind to – and even some who weren't - but didn't take guff from anyone. If someone was being a bastard Dad would look him right in the eye and tell the jerk to go stuff it. He stood by Ma when she got sick and mourned her deep and honest when she passed away. He did his best to raise me all by his lonesome, see that I didn't lack for food or clothes even when money was tight, and made sure that I knew what was right and what was wrong when our little neighborhood in Southside was going to hell and almost every kid I grew up seemed to be going to hell with it.

Dad expected me to be good, and I tried to be, though sometimes I got in trouble, or did a stupid thing because I was a kid and kids are dumb. And though every once in a while I'd disappoint him, and one memorable time he swatted me good, he never talked down to me or told me not to do something without giving a reason. He always patiently explained why what I did was wrong, or stupid, or whatever. When I did wrong, he saw it as his responsibility to not just correct me, but to make sure I really, truly understood why what I did was wrong. He loved me too much to do anything less. I loved him back, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I still love him now, though he's twelve years gone, killed when a derrick at the construction site he was working at broke and dumped a load of steel girders on him. I miss Dad, and think about him every day.

I was eighteen when Dad died. I was too dumb to be worth wasting a scholarship on, and there wasn't enough money saved for me to afford even Freedom College, so I went straight to work. I hauled crates at warehouses, unloaded boats, gone lobstering, worked as a janitor and handyman, even did some construction – good money in that, but let me tell you I made damn sure I was far away from any running equipment on site. I boxed a little, too. Did decent at it and made a little money – I was a palooka with no finesse, but had an iron jaw and steel guts. The guys who beat me usually outpointed me, and two of them won by TKO, but I was never knocked out. I drifted from job to job some twelve years. I brought in enough to eat and rent a small room, with something left over every once in a while to buy a book or see a movie. Not much of a life, and I didn't think I'd ever live one better. I'm not that smart. But I didn't mind. I've always kept to myself, even as a kid, and am pretty happy being alone with my thoughts (such as they are) or a book. And no matter how hard things got, I always tried to be a stand-up guy and do what was right.

Being a stand-up guy made me what I am today.

I was walking home after a late shift at the part-time job I had at a liquor store when I saw this guy giving a lady a hard time right out on the sidewalk. Sounded like a lovers' spat. I kept walking, not thinking it my business, though the guy was calling the lady the vilest names you can imagine, and she was starting to cry. Frankly, it was pissing me off, but I thought I had no right to butt in, so I just watched as I walked by.

Then the bastard punched the woman in the face.

Sure as hell I jumped in then. I grabbed the sucker by the neck and tossed him to the ground and asked him not-so-politely just what the hell he thought he was doing. He got up, told me to mind my own business or else he'd stomp a hole in me.

I don't take that kind of talk - not as a kid growing up, and not now as a man. Dad taught me with word and with deed that there's no percentage in letting bullies walk all over you. That's one of the reasons why I changed jobs so often – like my old man, I don't take guff. Still, I gave the guy a chance, told him that maybe he should reconsider making a run at me since I was bigger than he was. I had four inches and maybe forty pounds on him, and though I lost a good share of my boxing matches, I never in my life lost a fight in the streets.

The guy was stupid. He swore at me some more, took a step towards me with a raised fist.

I kicked him in the balls then kneed him in the temple when he doubled over. No use barking up my knuckles if I don't have to.

I left him lying on the sidewalk and walked the lady home. Her name was Katherine Huskins. She was just out of high school and like me had no prospects other than a lifetime of low-wage jobs. I asked her what she was doing with that guy, who looked about my age, and she said John Flemmi had a lot of money. He asked her out because he thought she was a looker and like his girls young. She was blinded by his cash and his nice sports car and his fancy clothes and ended up dating him long enough to learn that he was a mean, perverted little rat. Being a good girl she wanted nothing more to do with him, but he didn't like hearing 'no' and had been harassing her the past week. She thanked me for helping her out, but was worried about how Flemmi would take it. He was a crook and a bad man, she said, and liked to hurt people. I said he didn't seem like much and gave her my phone number, telling her that if he ever bothered her again to give me a call and I'd deal with him. I dropped her off at her family's doorstep and went home.

A week later I was walking home from another late shift when Flemmi and five other guys jumped me.

First street fight I ever loss. Probably should have been the last one, too, if not for a strange twist of chance. I did pretty well, considering the odds. While all these boys were crooks and thugs, and thus technically dangerous, from the way they fought I guessed the toughest people they ever roughed up were elderly convenience store owners or little immigrant barbers who had fallen behind on the vig. I'm neither elderly or little. I think I would have won, but I made a mistake and lost track on one of them. Bastard slipped behind me and hit me in the back of the head with something harder than his fist. My legs turn to water and I fell on my face. They piled on top of me and let me have it. Things seemed to explode in my body. My vision turned into a blinding sheet of red. Finally, thankfully, I stopped feeling anything.

Next thing I knew, I woke up in a bed at Southside Hospital. My mouth tasted like a sewer, I had a bit of a headache and I was a little tired, but other than that I felt pretty good for a guy who had the spit kicked out of him. When the nurse on duty noticed I was awake, she made a phone call and a minute later I was surrounded by a flock of doctors chattering away like magpies. When they finally quieted down a little I asked them what happened. It seemed that when the cops finally responded to reports of the fight my attackers had vanished, leaving me pretty much dead. The evaluation at the ER was that at best I'd be a vegetable the rest of my natural life, and that was a long shot. My ribs were staved in, puncturing my lungs. My skull had several fractures and my brain was hemorrhaging. I had so many other injuries I can't remember them all. I should have died.

Then, just as I started to flatline, a miracle happened - I started to heal, rapidly. My vitals spiked, then stabilized. Torn muscles and ruptured ligaments repaired themselves and started to force broken bones back into place. Once set, my bones knitted together so thoroughly there was not the slightest trace of breaks, while any floating bone fragments just dissolved away. The swelling of my brain diminished and the hemorrhaging stopped. By the end of the night I was completely healed and healthy, not even a bruise on my body.

I was stuck at Southside Hospital for five days. They checked and probed me thoroughly, a little because they wanted to make sure I was completely well and my brains weren't scrambled, but mostly because they wanted to know what the hell I was. They invited some doctors from Freedom Medical and a few smart boys from the Albright Institute to help them with the procedures. I was getting annoyed and restless, and was worrying about the cost of being laid up so long, but one of the Albright guys said that I wouldn't have to pay any medical bills, and would even get a little money in exchange for my cooperation. I stopped being annoyed, but I stayed restless.

When they finished up, the docs told me I was a latent mutant and that I had a quirk knotting up my genetic code in a strange but good way. In all likelihood I would never have developed powers, but somehow the severity of my beating kick-started my mutation. I now had incredible regenerative and recuperative abilities. I also was stronger than before, and a whole lot tougher. Not too shabby, but I could have done without nearly getting beat to death. Then again, my luck had always been mixed.

I finally got discharged and went home. Before I left the guys from the Albright Institute said they would like to run me through some more tests in the future and would compensate me for my time. I told them I'd think about it. Mrs O'Roark, the woman I rent my room from, was happy to see me alive and whole and fed me til I near burst. She's a nice old lady. Afterward I went upstairs to my room, sat down on my bed and thought about what happened to me. Took me less than a minute to decide I wasn't going to let a bunch of punks get away with nearly killing me.

Freedom City is a funny place. There are a lot guys and girls with strange powers running around it dressed up in funny costumes and doing all sorts of weird things. I never really paid much attention to super-heroes and super-villains before, but now I started thinking about them. I was sort of like them now, since I had a power, too. I thought that if was going to go looking for John Flemmi and his friends, maybe I should follow tradition and make a funny costume for myself. The more I considered it the more it appealed to me. I actually laughed. It was the first time I laughed in a long time.

My costume ended up being pretty simple. I'm a poor palooka who's lucky to have a hundred dollars saved up at one time; I can't afford morphic cloth or unstable molecules or whatever the hell it is those Atom kids wear, so I just got some dark sweatshirts and jeans along with sturdy gloves and steel-toed boots, all durable and comfortable. Fanciest part of it was a mask I made myself. A guy I knew did me a favor and let me into the metal fab shop he worked at. It was a simple job, using sheet metal to reinforce a hockey mask I modified. I really liked how it came out – looked a bit like a skull's face. When I dressed up in my costume and looked in the mirror I almost didn't recognize myself. It's funny how just some small things can make you look so much different.

Coming up with an alias took some thought, but what I decided on fit me. I'm a quiet guy. I don't bother anyone, try to keep to myself. But if someone picks a fight with me, I'm the meanest SOB they'll have the displeasure of meeting. I don't care how much I get hurt, I'll come right back and return the hurt ten times over. I'll stick a thumb in a eye, knee a bastard in the groin, break a kneecap with a kick – whatever it takes. I'm a hardcore fighter, in your face, never giving an inch, ignoring the pain. Hardcore is what I am, Hardcore is who I'll be.

Last piece of business was picking up a good, solid aluminum baseball bat to help even the odds if I had to go six-on-one again. That settled, I went looking for Mr. Flemmi.

I'm not a clever guy, but I'm patient and I know how to listen. Took me a few nights, and I got into a few tussles, but I finally tracked Flemmi down to a small, rundown house at the end of a cruddy cul de sac over in east Southside. He was using it as a hideout and a place to keep the smack he dealt – the source of his wads of cash and fancy car and other things a jerk like him doesn't deserve. The night I went calling he was with the guys who helped beat me up, along with a few others I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting yet. I came in through the back, took the bunch of them by surprise, and ended up beating the hell out of the entire crew after a long, brutal fight. They hit me, cut me, even managed to shoot me once, but nothing they did could stop me. I bled a lot, but once it was over I checked myself over and found that I hadn't a scratch on me. It was the most frightening, most exhilarating experience I ever had. Once I finished and made sure they were all down for the duration, I called the cops, told them that the house was full of drugs and pushers, gave them the address and went home. Found out later that the DA's office put Flemmi away for possession of narcotics with the intention to distribute, and he's now on a long vacation at the South River Pen. Tears shed over his fate were few.

After my run on Flemmi and his loser gang I spent the next week thinking about what I had done and what I had become. I came to the realization that for twelve years, ever since Dad died, I had been sleepwalking through life, content to just get by, wrapped up and isolated. I behaved, kept my word, tried to be honorable, but was I really one of the good guys? Maybe I was – I could have just walked away when I saw Flemmi punch Katherine Huskins. But still... But still...

At first I thought it a stupid idea, continuing on as a super-hero. What the hell good could I really do? I'm not a super-genius. I can't lift cars over my head. I can't throw lightning, or outrace sports cars, or fly. I'm just a dumb jerk who's hard to hurt and decent in a street brawl.

But then I remembered what my dad told me - that there's so much bad in the world, hurting people that don't deserve it, that even a little bit of good can help. I thought about Southside, and how in too many neighborhoods here there are guys like Flemmi, or worse than him, dragging everyone around them down, and too few people who can do anything about it seeming to care.

I think I'll stay Hardcore. Its dangerous, and I don't think I'll live too long, but I never wanted to grow old, anyway. And maybe the little bit of good I do before I die will somehow make a difference...

Personality & Motivation: Hardcore is stoic and taciturn by nature. He usually speaks only when he thinks he has something worth saying, but otherwise prefers to stay silent and let his actions do his talking. His thoughts tend to be more verbose. Between his cool stoicism and harsh looks Hardcore appears quite menacing, though in truth he's a polite man, in some ways almost shy, and tries his best to help those in need. Hardcore is something of a pessimist - moreso to keep disappointment at bay than for any other reason. He also has some esteem issues - he once told a friend that 'I'm just smart enough to know that I'm pretty dumb'. He is actually fairly bright and an autodidactic, being a voracious reader. He also doesn't think much of himself as a superhero: 'I'm just a dumb thug with a baseball bat who's hard to hurt', he's said in the past. But despite his self-doubts he is absolutely fearless and will not back down from doing what he thinks is right. 'I'm too damn stupid to know when to quit.' In his own working class, street fighting way he's as much of a boy scout as Captain Thunder.

Hardcore wants to follow the example his father set for him and be a good man. He hates the direction so much of Southside has been going in and does his best help the good people still living there. He concentrates on cleaning up street crime, clashing with gangs, pushers, thieves and pimps. He is wary of people with powers, but won't hesitate confronting a supervillain comitting a crime in Southside. Hardcore is aware of the growing problem with young runaways in Southside and has a soft spot for them. He advises them to go to Our Lady of Mercy over on Boardwalk in order to get some help, and tries to protect them from the thugs and pimps that prey on the young and the vulnerable.

Powers & Tactics: An unsophisticated fighter, Hardcore just charges in and bashes heads. He often uses All-Out Attack in conjunction with Power Attack, relying on his superhuman toughness and healing factor to protect him. He's fond of using an aluminum baseball bat in combat, and has become very proficent at readying it on a moment's notice.


Complications:

Secret Identity: Frank tries to keep his life as Hardcore a secret. He's pretty sure that his landlady, Mrs O'Roark, suspects that he's up to something, and while she likes him a lot, she worries about him and is something of a snoop.

Struggling: Hardcore drifts from job to job, usually working as a manual laborer. He occasionally prize-fights, though the purses available at his level are very meager. He augments his income by allowing the Albright Institute to occasionally run tests and studies on his mutations. He doesn't like being a lab rat, but it's better than going hungry for a week.

Abilities: 4 + 2 + 5 + 2 + 6 + 0 = 19PP

Strength: 22/14 (+6/+2)

Dexterity: 12 (+1)

Constitution: 28/15 (+9/+2)

Intelligence: 12 (+1)

Wisdom: 16 (+3)

Charisma: 10 (+0)

Combat: 16 + 12 = 28PP

Initiative: +9

Attack: +8 Ranged, +10 Melee, +12 Bat

Grapple: +16

Defense: +8 (+6 Base, + 2 Dodge Focus), +3 Flat-Footed

Knockback: -6, -1 without powers

Saving Throws: 1 + 8 + 7 = 16PP

Toughness: +12/+5 (+9/+2 Con, +3 Protection)

Fortitude: +10/+3 (+9/+2 Con, +1)

Reflex: +9 (+1 Dex, +8)

Will: +10 (+3 Wis, +7)

Skills: 80R = 20PP

Climb 4 (+10)

Gather Information 12 (+12)

Intimidate 12 (+12)

Knowledge (Current Events) 8 (+9)

Notice 12 (+15)

Profession (Handyman) 4 (+7)

Search 8 (+9)

Sense Motive 8 (+11)

Stealth 8 (+9)

Swim 4 (+6)

Feats: 29PP

All-Out Attack

Attack Focus (Melee) 2

Attack Specialization (Club)

Chokehold

Dodge Focus 2

Endurance

Equipment 1 (5EP)

Fearless

Fearsome Presence 5

Improved Critical (Club)

Improved Grapple

Improved Initiative 2

Improved Pin

Power Attack

Quick Draw

Startle

Takedown Attack 2

Ultimate Save 3 (Fortitude, Toughness, Will)

Well-Informed

Damage 2 (Feats: Improved Critical, Mighty) [4EP] (Aluminum Baseball Bat)

Flashlight [1EP]

Powers: 13 + 8 + 4 + 3 + 10 = 38PP

Descriptors: Mutation

Enhanced Constitution 13 [13PP]

Enhanced Strength 8 [8PP]

Immunity 4 (Critical Hits, Disease, Poison) [4PP]

Protection 3 [3PP]

Regeneration 10 (Recovery Rate: Bruised 3 [No Action], Injured 4 [1 round], Staggered 2 [5 minutes], Disabled 1 [5 hours]) [10PP]

Abilities (19) + Combat (28) + Saving Throws (16) + Skills (20) + Feats (29) + Powers (38) - Drawbacks (0) = 150/150 Power Points

DC Block:

ATTACK               RANGE         SAVE                          EFFECT

Unarmed              Touch         DC21/17 Toughness (Staged)    Damage (Physical)

Club                 Touch         DC23/19 Toughness (Staged)    Damage (Physical)

Fearsome Presence    Touch/Area    DC15 Will (Staged)            Shaken/Frightened/Panicked

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Hopefully this is a bit more acceptable and proves that I'm familiar with Freedom City. Are the Immunities all right? I didn't see them listed in Descriptor Frequency list, and so only payed 1 PP each, as per the 2E core. If I'm incorrect I'll move the points over somewhere else. Hardcore was inspired in part by comic book vigilantes like Casey Jones and Crimebuster and by tough guys with codes of honor from the fiction of Dashiel Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Robert B. Parker. Any suggestions are welcome.

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Just want to clarify something.

With a +10 Melee Attack bonus and a +8 bonus from the bat, you are PL 9 offensively. Also, be aware, as Equipment, your bat is likely to break (or bend into an unusable form) if you give something a resounding thwack.

If you're alright with this, I'll stamp.

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It took me a moment to figure out what you were talking about. Do you mean that Attack Focus only covers unarmed attacks, not all Melee attacks in general? If that is the case, I'll swap Improved Disarm for Attack Specialization (Club/Bat/Whatever). Would that bring things back in line, or am I missing something else?

Edit: Also, I'm fine with the limitations on my bat. It's just a bat, and if I use it to attack the Freedom City equivalent of Ultron I shouldn't expect it to hold up very well.

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In order to hit your PL caps for offense, you need to have your Attack and Damage bonus average out to your PL. Your bat has a +10 Attack bonus, and a +8 damage bonus, so that averages out to 9. If your damage was 2 higher OR your attack bonus 2 higher OR your attack bonus 1 higher and your damage bonus 1 higher, you would be PL 10 offensively. So yes, if you dropped Improved Disarm to get Attack Specialization, you would be at PL 10.

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Wait, I must be thick. What good will Attack Spec. do me, since I'm attacking at +10 with the bat and thus all ready at the cap for attack? It seems that the only thing I can really do is try to raise my damage, and I really don't want to shift 4 points around either into Strength or mighty strike.

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Go back to the book, open it to pages 24-26, and pay closer attention to the parts about "Tradeoffs."

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I know how tradeoffs work.

I'll drop Improved Disarm and take Attack Spec. Club, Geez3r. I'll take your word for it that doing so will bring Hardcore's offensive PL up to the cap.

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I'll take your word for it that doing so will bring Hardcore's offensive PL up to the cap.

+12 Attack

+8 Damage

12 + 8 = 20

20 /2 = 10

Averages out to PL10 offensively.

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