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Smoke and Fire (PL 11 NPC Villain Team, Tier 1)

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Mysterious fires, charred corpses, smoke inhalation victims, and arson with no proof that any crime was ever committed. These are the hallmarks of the dangerous hired superhuman killers known only by their codenames, Smoke and Fire.
Wanted in connection for well over a dozen suspected murders, hundreds of thousands of dollars of destroyed property, the two killers possibly do not even exist: they are only suspected to by the singular lack of evidence surrounding their suspected activities: the pair leaves no witnesses to identify them, and all evidence related to them seems to vanish into smoke or burn to ashes shortly after being found, leaving only supposition and street rumors behind them.

 

Smoke:

Player Name: BType/Tier 1 NPC

Character Name: Smoke

Power Level: 11 (165PP/165PP)

Trade-Offs: None.

Unspent PP: 0

 

In Brief: One half of the hired killer duo, Smoke is stealthy assassin capable of assuming a vaporous form.

Alternate Identity: "Deke Slayton" (Most common alias)

Identity: Secret

Birthplace: Unknown

Occupation: Superpowered Mercenary/Assassin-for-Hire

Affiliations: Unknown

Family: Unknown

 

Age: Unknown

Apparent Age: Late Twenties, Early Thirties

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Height: 6'0''
Weight: 195lbs/0lbs (Smoke Form)

Eyes: Grey
Hair: Grey

 

Description: Smoke is often described in rumors as being a tall man of indeterminate age with prematurely grey hair, wearing expensive grey suits. When working he wears a black bodysuit with a balaclava-like facemask with a grey mouthpiece akin to a rebreather mask over his mouth, with his torso, arms, and legs covered in flexible grey body armor.

 

Power Descriptions: Smoke is the more subtle of the duo, but no less dangerous for it. He possesses the superhuman ability trasnform the molecules of his body into a semi-vaporous state resembling grey smoke of his approximate level of size and mass. This transformation is extremely subtle: out outward appearance doesn't change at all, instead becoming blurry at the outlines and trailing small wisps of smoky matter through the air when he moves. While in this form if he remains very still and doesn't move aggressively he becomes practically invisible to normal sight and hearing, though infrared light picks up his gaseous form and ultrasonic hearing can pick up his weirdly distorted "breathing" in this form. Combined with covert insertion, espionague, and military combat training, Smoke can use his vaporous state to maximum efficiency in combat.

 

History: The history of the name using the nom de guerre "Deke Slayton" is foggy at best. There are records of a man under that name having joined the US Army in the 80's, but after brief period of diligent but uninspired service it simply vanishes. Deeper investigations into the military will discover that Slayton is recruited by the secretive Army Intelligence group usually nicknamed "The Activity" after it's original name, the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). Every single one of Slayton's mission profiles is heavily redacted, showing up over multiple areas of the globe where the United States was not officially operating. Reports from handlers describe Slayton as "efficient" and "loyal", which in this case seems to be military shorthand for "ruthless" and "unquestioning of morally dubious orders". He was quickly partnered with an ISA operative known as "Felicity Shrike" for many of his operations. In 1992 his Pentagon records simply vanish entirely along with Slayton himself after he volunteers for a highly secretive "human enhancement project" in concernt with a small company called Cardinstanic. Eight months later the first of the incidents later thought by a select few FBI and AEGIS officials to be the first "accident" arranged by Smoke and Fire happened.
 

Personality and Motivations: Smoke is ruthless and efficient, but possesses of a certain dry sense of wit his partner lacks. His sense of precison and subtlety are honed and refined in a way that seems almost inversely proportionate to his moral center and conscience. Though his distant demanour and lack of care for his fellow man suggests sociopathic tendencies, Smoke has no such excuse, and he is in full control of his mental faculties. Apathy is a choice for him, not a brain disorder. He does what he does because he is trained to do it, he is good at it, and because he enjoys it. His one area of genuine human connection is to his partner, Fire. Though their banter is mostly professional and terse, the amount of risk one is willing to take for the other is telling, and when Fire is seriously threatened or injured Smoke seems to loose objectivity (if not his self-control), going on frighteningly precise rampages to ensure her survival. He can be heard to call her "Sparky" in a half-joking, half-endearing manner.

 

Plotlines: Smoke is always paired with Fire, but frequently is the the first encountered of the duo, as his investigative and meticulous nature means he frequently is the one tailing their targets before either of them makes a move. His completely unknown identity and skill at deception, infiltration, and even disguises means many will not even realize they've met and seen him, even if they have. The duo usually engage in assassinations and arson for profit, but are skilled enough to take other jobs depending on how much they are being paid and by whom.

 

Powers, Abilities, and Tactics: Smoke is less overt then Fire is in combat, but this makes him arguably more dangerous. Even before he gained his superhuman powers he was capable of killing with his bare hands and weaponry, but now he is vastly more dangerous. In combat he frequently hangs back in his vaporous form and letting Fire take offensive. When their opponent is distracted by her he closes in for the kill from unusual angles, making use of his stealth, teleportation, and flight powers, attacking vital points, nerves, joints, and other weak spots with both his hands and his ability to suffocate and nauseate his foes before Fire finishes them off. When caught by himself he'll often act as though trying to escape, but frequently attempts to seperate his persuers and individually ambush them one by one if he thinks it's possible. When the duo need to make an escape, frequently Fire tosses up a flare to dazzle foes, then Smoke uses his obscuring clouds before grabbing his partner and teleporting away at maximum possible distance. A minor effect of the experiments that caused his powers has effectively halted his aging process.

 

Complications:

Where There's Smoke....: Smoke is reluctant to physically engage in combat without Fire around to back him up. Furthermore, his attachment to Fire means that if she is seriously injured, Smoke will begin to fight far more aggressively and viciously then before, hoping to overwhelm his foes that Fire might be saved. While so riled he can be coerced into making mistakes or taking greater risks in his cold fury.

"Do You Smell Something?": As a minor side-effect to his powers, Smoke is constantly surrounded by a strong aura of smoke, akin to a recently put-out campfire. Unusually, the smoke smell is altered depending on what he's eaten recently (smelling of smoked meat for instance if he has recently eaten some). Though it has yet to be noticed by authorities, buildings he passes through often retain this smell for some time after he has left it (depending on how much air filtration and circulation the building gets, something not helped by his tendency to sneak in through airvents in his vaporous form), and a clever investigator could pick up on this and use it to identify where he's been. This scent can be tracked with a simple Notice check of DC15, and can be used to track him by those with appropriate super-senses.
Favorite Brand: At some point in his military career abroad, Smoke has developed a taste for a specific brand of expensive foreign cigarettes, namely Sobranie Black Russians. This visually distinctive black cigarette with gold filters has sometimes been found at mysterious arsons and fires that otherwise defy explanation, being the sole piece of physical evidence that is ever left behind by the pair, and gave birth to the theory that the incidents might be linked crimes, though they are not substantial enough evidence by themselves to truly base a case or investigative team on. Given Smoke's wry sense of humor, it's possible that he leaves these used cigarettes on purpose as a taunt to those who think they could be found.

 

Abilities: 6+8+6+6+2+4=32PP

Strength: 16 (+3)

Dexterity: 18 (+4)

Constitution: 16 (+3)

Intelligence: 16 (+3)

Wisdom: 12 (+1)

Charisma: 14 (+2)

 

Combat: 12+16=28PP

Initiative:+3

Attack:+7, +10 (Melee)

Grapple:+16
Defense:+10 (+8, +2 Dodge Focus)
Knockback:-3

 

Saving Throws: 4+4+4=11PP

Toughness:+7

Fortitude:+7

Reflex:+8

Will:+5

 

Skills: 52SP=13PP

Bluff 8 (+10)

Computers 5 (+8)

Disguise 8 (+10)

Gather Information 8 (+10)

Intimidate 6 (+8)

Knowledge: Streetwise 5 (+8)

Notice 4 (+5)

Search 4 (+7)

Sense Motive 4 (+5)

 

Feats: 15=15PP

Attack Focus (Melee) 3

Defensive Roll 2

Dodge Focus 2

Benefit 2 (Enigma)

Evasion

Paralyzing Attack

Startle

Takedown Attack 2

Well-Informed

 

Powers: 6+5+55=66

Strike 5 (Combat Training, Power Feats: Mighty) [6PP]

Immunity 5 (Aging, Disease, Poison, Suffocation, Heat)

Alternate Form 11 (Smoke Form, Gaseous, 55PP) [55PP]

-Concealment 3 (Vaporous Camoflauge, Normal Visual, Normal Hearing, Flaw: Blending) [3PP]

-Insubstantial 2 (Vaporous Body, Power Feats:Selective) [11PP]

-Obscure 8 (Smoke Cloud, Visual, Olfactory, Flaw: Partial) [8PP]

-Suffocate 8 (Choking Touch) [16PP]

-Flight 2 (25mph) [4PP]

-Teleport 4 (Vaporous Dispersion, Extras: Affects Others, Power Feats: Turnabout) [13PP)

 

DC Block

ATTACK      RANGE     SAVE                                           EFFECT
Strike          Touch       DC23 Toughness                Damage (Physical)

Suffocate    Touch       DC18 Fortitude                      Suffocation

 

Totals: Abilities 32+ Combat 28+Saving Throws 11+Skills 13+Feats 15+Powers 66+Drawbacks 0=165/165 Power Points

 

Fire:

Player Name: BType/Tier 1 NPC

Character Name: Fire

Power Level: 11 (165PP/165PP)

Trade-Offs: +1 Attack/-1 Damage

Unspent PP: 0

 

In Brief: The other half of the hired killer duo, Fire is an aggressive woman with a mildly unhinged mind.

Alternate Identity: "Felicity Shrike" (Most common alias)

Identity: Secret

Birthplace: Unknown

Occupation: Superpowered Mercenary/Assassin-for-Hire

Affiliations: Unknown

Family: Unknown

 

Age: Unknown

Apparent Age: Late Twenties, Early Thirties

Gender: Female

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Height: 5'8''
Weight: 150lbs

Eyes: Brown/Glowing Red (when using powers)
Hair: Black/Burning Red (when using powers)

 

Description: Fire is an attractive woman, who wears normal to semi-provocative clothing when she's not working. When he is working she wears a bodysuit with a mostly orange torso and black arms and legs, with orange fingers on the gloves. She seems to be always smiling, but there is very little mirth in it.

 

Power Descriptions: Fire's powers are much more overt then Smoke's. When active her hair seems to catch aflame and wave in the air, and her eyes glow red. The veins become so hot they show through her skin, turning her face and body into a nightmare mask of glowing lines, much akin to volcanic fissures in visual similarity. While her most visible power manifestations include her super-heated body and fiery projections, the reason her body seems superheated at all times is a diversion of her pyrokinetic powers into improving her physical body, converting extra heat into biological energy. This grants her improved dexterity and incredible regenerative abilities, as well as allowing her to ignore her need for food.

 

History: The history of the woman known as Fire is much easier to track then her partner, if only because she lacks the same level of subtlety he shows in covering his tracks, but it is still very difficult to fully narrow down. There are records of a "Felicity Shrike" joininh the Army similar to Smoke's records, but per the US Army's standing policy, Felicity was a non-combatant during her tour of service. After several violent alteractions with both fellow troops and commanding officers and repriments for violent and aggressive behavior, Felicity was ultimately brought up on assault charges after nearly killing three soldiers with her bare hands in a brawl. Her court-martial was abruptly canceled, and she was transfered to the same ISA unit as "Deke Slayton" where, like him, her missions files suddenly become quite active and heavily redacted. It's notable that many engagements she was involved in were less subtle, and tended to end in extreme bouts of violence destruction, though always with no eyewitnesses. Like Slayton she vanishes after volunteering for the Pentagon's human enhacement project, and a short time later begins working with Smoke.

 

Personality and Motivations: Fire might generously be described as an "emotionally unstable individual". Her temper is very short, and while her personality is brighter and more vivacious then Smoke's her mood swings much faster. She displays sociopathic tendencies towards other people, and a reckless disregard for her own life that suggests mental instability. While she is perfectly willing to use her charms to get what she wants, she generally feels next to nothing towards almost everyone she meets beyond mild contempt. To make matters worse, her natural mental imbalances seem heightened since she gained her powers as if the fire she so effortlessly weilds now is slowly burning away her sanity. Only Smoke could be called close to her, and his presence acts as a stabilizer in her tumultous moods. When seperated from him she grows irritable, and if he is incapacitated or seriously she grows insanely angry to the point of being almost insensible, causing massive amounts of property damage in her attempt to kill the people responsible for his injuries. She has been known to affectionately call him "Smokey".

 

Plotlines: As previously noted, Smoke and Fire always come as a pair, but while Smoke as uses outside of combat, Fire is a combat machine, pure and simple. She is the brute strength of the duo, and while in between jobs with Smoke she can restrain herself, in combat she unleashes her full fury on whomever she's facing. While she doesn't lack for intelligence or training, ultimately her patience isn't great enough for her to survive without Smoke's help, and she knows it. If seperated from him her dementia will grow out of control until it consumes her and everyone around her.

 

Powers and Tactics: Though Fire has ranged capabilities, she actually prefers to engage her foes at close range, using her superheated body and martial arts skills to rend people apart with terrible ease. Generally she opens up with a flare to dazzle her foes, then moves in for the kill, fighting with huge amounts of aggression in hopes of overwhelming her enemy, relying on her impressive regenerative abilities to keep her going through the fight. If the duo needs to make a get away, Smoke and her use their respective Dazzle and Obscure abilities to create a screen, while Smoke uses his teleportation power to get them as far away as possible.

 

Complications:

....There's Fire: Fire isn't just partnered with Smoke, she is strongly emotionally dependent on him for stability in her life (though she would vehemently deny it). Threatening him seriously, capturing him, or injuring him will drive her insane with rage, allowing her to be easily manipulated into traps and tricks.
Wild Fire: Putting it mildly, Fire is not a very subtle woman. She is aggressive in thought and action, which means she can often be predictable when left to her own devices. While she isn't stupid by any means, ultimately she has little imagination or patience for roundabout approaches or complexity, vastly preferring the shortest route between two points.

 

Abilities: 8+8+8+4+0+4=32PP

Strength: 18 (+4)
Dexterity: 18 (+4)

Constitution: 18 (+4)

Intelligence: 14 (+2)

Wisdom: 10 (+0)

Charisma:14 (+2)

 

Combat: 20+20=40PP

Initiative:+8
Attack:+10, +12 Strike, +12 Blast
Grapple:+14
Defense:+10
Knockback:-5

 

Saving Throws: 3+3+3=9PP

Thoughness:+10
Fortitude:+7
Reflex:+7
Will:+3

 

Skills: 52SP=13PP

Acrobatics 4 (+8)

Bluff 5 (+7/+11 w/ Attractive)

Disguise 6 (+8)

Gather Information 8 (+10)

Intimidate 8 (+10)

Knowledge: Streetwise 5 (+7)

Notice 7 (+7)

Search 5 (+7)

Sense Motive 6 (+6)

 

Feats: 13=13PP

Attractive

Acrobatic Bluff

Benefit 2 (Enigma)

Defensive Roll 3

Improved Initiative

Move-by Action

Power Attack

Takedown Attack 2

Well-Informed

 

Powers: 22+6+30=58PP

Regeneration 22 (Bruised/no action, Staggerd/1 round, Injured/1 round, Disabled/1 minute, Ability/1 minute) [22PP]

Immunity 6 (Aging, Fire)

Superheated Body (26PP Array, Power Feats: Alternate Powers 4) [30PP]

-Base Power: Strike (Superheated Body, Extras: Aura, Duration+2, Power Feats: Accurate, Mighty)

-AP: Blast 10 (Power Feats: Accurate, Precise)

-AP: Fire Control 12

-AP: Ignite 13 (Power Feats: Reversible)

-AP: Dazzle 8 (Fireflash, Visual)

 

DC Block

ATTACK      RANGE     SAVE                                           EFFECT
Strike          Touch       DC25 Toughness                Damage (Heat)

Blast           Ranged    DC25 Toughness                Damage (Heat)

 

Totals: 32 Abilities+40 Combat+9 Saving Throws+13 Skills+13 Feats+58 Powers- 0 Drawbacks=165/165PP

Edited by BType

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My first stab at making a pair of villain NPC's. Smoke and Fire aren't very powerful for their PL in terms of damage output, relying more on stealth and infiltration as opposed to overt force. They get in, complete their objective, and get out.
That being said, the idea is that once in Fire uses her powers to basically torch whatever they need to torch (people included), and then escape using Smoke's teleportation power as their quick way out, using the flame to destroy evidence and literally burn their tracks behind them.
As their backstory suggests, both have been subjected to the Labryinth's DNAscent Process: they were part of the second Pentagon program mentioned in the Freedom City book used to put together the original program, and Cardinstatic is the shell company used to perform DNAscent enhancement procedures. While they don't directly work for the Labryinth, their mercenary nature means they've probably worked for it's individual members quite frequently without them actually being aware of it: the only link to the Labryinth itself a hero could follow is their participation in the Pentagon's human enhancement project.

Edited by BType

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SMOKE

Math math math math math math math

Combat

With Dex +4, Smoke's Init bonus is also +4.

Base Attack +7 costs 14pp, not 12pp.

With a +10 melee attack bonus and +3 STR bonus, Smoke's grapple bonus is +13, not +16.

Please note Smoke's flat-footed defense.

Smoke's knockback is -3/-1, given that some of his toughness is lost when flat-footed.

Saves

4+4+4=12, not 11.

Please note Toughness as "+7/+3 (flat footed)", as most of the Toughness is coming from Defensive Roll.

Powers

Strike 5 is a lot to justify with just a 'training' descriptor. With a +3 Strength bonus, you're establishing that this guy - by sheer training - can throw a DC23 punch. That's more powerful than being shot with an assault rifle, and coming awfully close to being hit with a rocket launcher.

One rank of Immunity buys protection against a specific type of suffocation - drowning, or being trapped underground, or the like. General suffocation immunity costs two ranks. Similarly, pleas specify that the character is immune to Environment (Heat), not Heat as a general power descriptor.

Obscure 8 for Visual (2pp/rank) and Olfactory (1pp/rank), with a -1pp/rank flaw, would cost 16pp, not 8pp. As such, your Alternate Form is over-budget.

Fire

Combat

Please note Fire's flat-footed defense.

Skills

I count 54 ranks of skills, not 52.

Powers

I only count 21 ranks of Regeneration - Bruised/- (3), Staggered/1 round (4), Injured/1 round (4), Disabled/1 minute (5), Ability/1 minute (5); 3+4+4+5+5= 21.

Immunity 5 would get you Immunity (Fire Damage), not Immunity (Fire Effects).

Please note the pp totals of each power in the Superheated Body array.

Note that while I'm willing to let a Damage effect with Sustained duration slide by on a villain sheet, it would probably not be acceptable for a hero sheet. This attack in general is kind of weird...the way you've built it, anyone who attacks this character unarmed takes damage based on her Strength. Why is that? Why does the strength of her muscles increase the damage of her super-heated body?

Please note Ignite in its more base form, as it's an uncommon power:

Damage 13 (Extras: Range 2 [Perception]; Feats: Reversible) [40pp]

Note that this power both breaks this villain's caps, and exceeds the PP allowance from the array.

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