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The Stranger (PL12/PL10) - Raveled (Gold)

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The Stranger
Power Level: 12 (180/183PP)
Trade-Offs: None
Unspent Power Points: 3
 

In Brief: An inhuman creature bonded to a human shell. A protector of the dreamscape.


Alternate Identity

Identity: Seth Machan (Secret)
Birthplace: The Dreamspace/Atlantis
Occupation: Criminal Attorney, volunteer defense attorney
Affiliations: Delphic Industries, Project Freedom, Public Defender's Office
Family: None, and innumerable.


Description
Age: ~16,000 years old (Incarnated during the Pleistocene)
Apparent Age: Mid-thirties
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Caucasian by default
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 140 lbs
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

 

Seth Machan is not a man who stands out in a crowd. He’s of average height and skinny, with unlined skin and dark hair that grows straight and smooth and thick to the nape of his neck. He favors grey Oxford shirts, dark suits, and shiny black brogues. He’s almost never seen in anything more casual. He often wears a silver lapel pin depicting what looks like a leaf or frond.

 

When on patrol, the Stranger does not wear a cape or bright colors. He still wears a black shirt, a black sportcoat, and black slacks. His feet are bare, though, and his hair is wild and tangled. His hair isn’t just black anymore either; it almost looks absent, like it absorbs all light that touches it. His skin becomes pale as china, and his face becomes a smooth expanse of flesh from his brow to his chin with mere slits for his black-on-black eyes. The frond-symbol moves to his forehead and has the same not-quite-there coloration as his hair.

 

In the dream realm, the Stranger looks even less human. Superficially he still appears to be a man in pale skin with messy hair and dark clothes, but his face is a stylized noh mask and he rarely takes his hands out of his pockets. Instead, his jacket bulges like there are great, tunneling creature moving underneath it, and either the hems of his slacks cover his feet or his feet meld into the dream terrain.
 

 

Power Descriptions: The Stranger’s powers come from his otherworldly lineage. His body is not something that grew around him; it’s a thing he constructed. As such he has incredible control over his biological processes, rendering him immune to virtually all the natural toxins that plague humans. In addition he can tap into his eldritch nature to empower himself, either to supercharge his physical body or attack his enemies’ minds in different ways. If he’s injured , he can reach out and absorb the power within a particular person or object to heal himself. Finally, as a creature native to the mindscape, he can enter the minds of sleeping creatures and travel via dreams to any other dreaming creature in this universe.

 

In the realm of dreams, he is much more powerful and much stranger. He can reshape the dreamscape to his will and uses that to create walls and other structures to defend himself or tie up enemies, or to create attacks to overwhelm his enemies. He can even attack the very nature of the dream dimension itself to remove enemies
 

 

History: The history of the creature most often known as the Stranger goes back to ancient Atlantis. A mage, his name forgotten to all, became aware of the strange beings that prowled on the edges of the dream realms. He enticed one in and captured it, forcing the creature to manifest physically. At first the creature was a formless mass, but as it spent more time around humans the spirit took on a more human form. Eventually the mage created a body for it, for the dream entity to move around the city and see its wonders.

 

The creature survived the mage and was inherited by his family, but it was never regarded as anything but a monster to be studied and contained. The spirit’s body did not age or die though, and it was around to see the city sink. The spirit escaped to Mesopotamia, settling among the proto-Sumerians in the region and tried to live as just a man. However, there was a suffering that he couldn’t ignore. The dreams and minds of Atlanteans and mages were protected, but out in the wilds there were monsters and demons and worse to prey on people. The spirit had the knowledge of thousands of years of observing the greatest mages in history, and his own nature allowed him to travel to the dreamworld and do battle directly with the predators there.

 

Time passed, and the creature traveled the world. Every place that he found evil preying on innocents he fought against it, often triumphing, sometimes dying, always returning. He’s spent tens of thousands of years this way, observing humanity’s slow climb up it its current state. He settled in Freedom City a few decades ago and eventually found a job with the Public Defender's Office, helping those who had recently gone through a traumatic life change. He remains a defender of the dreamscape, though, a terror to nightmares and an eerie defender of the waking world.
 

 

Personality & Motivation: Seth appears rather distant to most people, even cold. Even when he claims to have strong feelings on a subject, he’ll often explain himself in a detached, logical fashion. This can be unsettling when he acts calm and collected in a stressful situation, even carrying on casual conversation in the middle of dangerous fights.

 

The truth is that Seth views humanity as a fascinating mystery, full of questions and inconsistencies. He’s spent tens of thousands of years in and among them, and yet every day there is something that surprises him. He will protect humanity at least until he can unravel their mysteries.
 

 

Powers & Tactics: There’s a marked difference between how the Stranger fights in the physical world and how he fights in the dreamworld. In the physical world he’s more or less a straight-up brawler, mixing bone-shattering blows with the occasional psychic dagger. If he’s too injured he can reach out and eat the energies that sustain a certain thing, dissolving it to dust and repairing himself. As a last resort he can drop the illusion of normality that covers him and subject everyone who can see him to his true, unnatural, mind-shattering shape.

 

In the dreamworld fighting the Stranger is like fighting the land itself. He can use the mutable landscape to cause mountains to crash onto an opponent, freeze them solid one moment and boil them alive the next. He’s much less restrained in these fights, since all the damage is metaphorical; it takes a concerted effort to kill someone in the dreamscape, allowing him to fight without the usual consideration.


 

Complications
Not Meant to Be Seth is a creature not of this dimension, and his very nature is against the rules of this dimension. Observant people can figure out this wrongness from how the environment reacts to him.
Staring into the Abyss Seth’s magical and psychic nature is a stain on the world. Anyone observing him with Magic Awareness or Mental Awareness will immediately know that he is something weird and dangerous.
Constant Observer Seth is fascinated with the actions of humanity and its reasons for such. In the heat of the moment he may stop acting to simply observe, or even to interrogate someone engaged in delicate work.
Never Forget In his very first incarnation Seth was essentially a slave of an Atlantean wizard. While that family is long dead, he still doesn’t trust any Atlantean or anyone of Atlantean descent (including Ulti-men and the inhabitants of Ultima Thule).
 

Abilities: 0 + 4 + 0 + 2 + 10 + 6 = 22PP
Strength: 30/10 (+10/+0)
Dexterity: 14 (+2)
Constitution: 10 (+0)
Intelligence: 12 (+1)
Wisdom: 20 (+5)
Charisma: 16 (+3)
 

Combat: 12 + 12 = 24PP
Initiative: +2
Attack: +6 Melee, +6 Ranged, +10 Pseudonatural Dreams
Grapple: +6/+16
Defense: +10 (+6 Base, +4 Dodge Focus), +3 Flat-Footed
Knockback: -10/-5
 

Saving Throws: 8 + 4 + 5 = 17PP
Toughness: +10 (+0 Con, +10 Protection, 10 Impervious)
Fortitude: +8 (+0 Con, +8)
Reflex: +6 (+2 Dex, +4)
Will: +10 (+5 Wis, +5)
 

Skills: 100R = 25PP
Diplomacy 7 (+10)
Intimidate 17 (+20)Skill Mastery
Knowledge (Arcane Lore) 14 (+15)Skill Mastery
Knowledge (Behavioral Sciences) 9 (+10)
Knowledge (Civics) 14 (+15)Skill Mastery
Knowledge (Current Events) 9 (+10)
Knowledge (History) 9 (+10)
Medicine 5 (+10)
Notice 10 (+15)
Sense Motive 6 (+11)Skill Mastery

 

Feats: 8PP
Dodge Focus 4
Fearless
Ritualist
Skill Mastery (Intimidate, Knowledge [Arcane Lore, Civics], Sense Motive)
Startle
 

Powers: 4 + 6 + 1 + 28 + 37 + 7 + 1 = 84PP

All powers have the pseudonatural and magic descriptors

 

Flight 2 (25 MPH) (Forsake the Earth) [4PP]

 

Morph 2 (Any humanoid, +10 Disguise, Feats: Quick Change 2) (Shape this Shell) [6PP]

 

Morph 0 (+0 Disguise, Feat: Metamorph) (Dream Self) [1PP]

 

Pseudonatural Biology Container [28PP]

  • Immunity 30 (Fortitude, Feat: Trance, Flaw: Half Effect) (Constructed Body) [16PP]
  • Protection 10 [10PP]
  • Immunity 2 (Ageing, Sleep) [2PP]

 

Pseudonatural Dreams Array 15 (30PP, Feats: Accurate 2, Alternate Power 5) [37PP]

  • BE: Enhanced Strength 20 (Extra: Linked [+0] [Impervious]) + Impervious Protection 10 (Extra: Linked [+0] [Enhanced Strength]) (Inhuman Might) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Stun 10 (Extras: Range/Ranged) (Psychic) (You Sleep) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Damage 10 (Extras: Range/Ranged, Alternate Save [Will]) (Psychic) (Visit Your Nightmares) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Damage 10 (Extras: Range/Ranged, Vampiric) (I Hunger!) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Mind Reading 10 (Extras: Linked [+0] [Drain Will]) + Drain Will 10 (Extra: Range/Perception, Flaw: Limited [Sleeping Targets Only]) (Dream Invasion) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Dreamwalking [13/30PP]
    • Super-Movement 1 (Dimensional 1 [Dream dimension]) [1PP]
    • Teleport 20 (Anywhere in the universe, Feats: Change Direction, Change Velocity, Flaws: Limited [Long-Range Only], Medium [Dreams]) [12PP]

 

Super Senses 5 (Mental sense, +Accurate, +Acute, +Radius, +Ranged, Extended [100 ft], Feat: Uncanny Dodge) (Spatial Awareness) [7PP]

 

Regeneration 1 (Resurrection, 1 week) [1PP]


Drawbacks: (-0) = -0PP
 

 

DC Block

 

 

Powers: 4 + 7 + 28 + 37 + 7 + 1 = 84PP

All powers have the pseudonatural and magic descriptors

 

Comprehend 2 (Understand all Language, Speak any One Language) (Dream Speech) [4PP]

 

Morph 2 (Any humanoid, +10 Disguise, Feats: Metamorph, Quick Change 2) (Dream Self) [7PP]

 

Pseudonatural Biology Container [28PP]

  • Immunity 30 (Fortitude, Feat: Trance, Flaw: Limited [Half Effect]) (Constructed Body) [16PP]
  • Protection 10 [10PP]
  • Immunity 2 (Ageing, Sleep) [2PP]

 

Dreamcrafting Array 15 (30PP, Feats: Accurate 2, Alternate Power 5) [37PP]

  • BE: Create Object 10 (Extra: Moveable) (Modeling the Dreamscape) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Damage 10 (Extra: Autofire, Range/Ranged) (Dream Barrage) [30/30PP]
  • AP: ESP 10 (200 000 miles; All senses, Flaw: Feedback) (Spy on Dreams) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Concealment 10 (All senses, Extra: Linked [+0] [Insubstantial]) + Insubstantial 2 (Gaseous, Extra: Linked [+0] [Concealment]) (Fade Into Dreams) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Dimensional Pocket 10 (Extra: Range/Ranged) (Into My Dreams) [30/30PP]
  • AP: Snare 10 (Extra: Contagious) (Dream Quicksand) [30/30PP]

 

Super Senses 5 (Mental sense, +Accurate, +Acute, +Radius, +Ranged, Extended [100 ft], Feat: Uncanny Dodge) (Dream Awareness) [7PP]

 

Regeneration 1 (Resurrection, 1 week) [7PP]

 

 

DC Block

ATTACK              RANGE      SAVE                                  EFFECT
Dream Barrage       Ranged     DC 25+Autofire Toughness (Staged)     Damage (Physical)
Into My Dreams      Ranged     DC 20 Reflex                          Trapped
Dream Quicksand     Ranged     DC 20 Reflex (Staged)                 Snare

 

Totals: Abilities (22) + Combat (24) + Saving Throws (17) + Skills (25) + Feats (8) + Powers (84) - Drawbacks (0) = 180/183 Power Points

Edited by HG Morrison
August PP Reward

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General:

I like the fluff here! Neat concept, and I have a terrible weakness for outsiders.

 

Combat:

It's getting late and my math may be off, but the Grapple bonus seems high - +6 Melee, +10 Str; where's the missing +4 from?

 

Powers:

You have two powers that grant Metamorph, but only one alternate set of traits. I'm guessing the one on 'Shape this Shell' isn't supposed to be there, as it also puts that power over the listed cost of 6pp.

 

Afraid I'm not familiar with the Trance power feat, on Immunity; any chance I could get a citation on it?

 

Minor typo note on the second Immunity set: 'ageing'.

 

The Stun AP seems a little wonky - Sedation is a Feat, not an Extra; as-written this is a 31pp power.

 

Not gonna lie: I'm not terribly keen on a power that lets you inflict Shaken on everything nearby as a free action. I'm okay with being overruled by fellow refs there, but it's gonna require some discussion.

 

Note that as-written The Stranger can enter a dream-themed dimension, but not any specific person's dreams (which is generally a Mind Reading effect). How much wiggle room you get there is going to depend entirely on the skepticism of your GM and the function of what's happening in the thread. That said, I do like the idea of a shared dreamscape (always a favorite in especially trippy games and the like), and Medium [Dreams] is really neat.

 

Final:

The Stranger is unfortunately over-budget; Combat's currently eating 24pp, not 22pp (correct in the Combat section but incorrect in the final tally), putting him 2pp over-budget at 182pp.

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With Inhuman might active, he has +10 Str and +10 Att. That comes out to +20 Grapple, or does Accurate not contribute in that way?

 

Trance is a feat from the core book. It lets a character put themselves in a deathlike state; they barely breath, poison is paused, it takes a Notice check to realize they're still alive, etc.

 

I removed Sedation. Everyone will just have to be quiet around the sleeping people.

 

I'm open to discussion on Unveil Myself. It's got a couple of saves attached to it, and since it's Perception Area there's a lot of potential for collateral damage.

 

The dream dimension... I mean, I would argue that the Dream Dimension is sort of an overplane, and individual dreams are demiplanes that can be entered from the Dream Dimension. So any competent traveler to the Dream Dimension could get into individual dreams, just like anyone that can get into one room of a house can get into pretty much the entire building.

 

I dropped a couple of feats, putting the total PP cost at 180. I also reworked some of the dream powers to be more in line with the 'waking' powers.

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Thank you for the reminder on Trance; I'd forgotten it was a normal feat! That'll teach me to ignore the weirder feats in the feat section....

 

I've opened a ref discussion for a couple of other things, just to make sure I'm not being paranoid. There is something I missed last night, as far as the Emotion Control goes - Area [Perception] already acts as Sense-Dependent, noted in Ultimate Power:

 

"This modifier includes the Sense-Dependent flaw (see Flaws) so it cannot be applied again."

 

Can't have your cake and eat it too, I'm afraid. :( At the very least it'll have an impact on the math of that power, but I'll let you know what the redname comes back with on free-action area Shaken.

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Area/Perception includes the Sense-Dependent Flaw, correct. I already accounted for that in the math; the listed Flaw is just showing which Sense it is Dependent on.

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Alright; sorry for the delays here. :) Ref team appears to have come to consensus, and all votes are in that are coming in.

 

As a whole we're not terribly keen on attacks dropped under Standard Action; we think we have a couple examples from the olden days that snuck through that we may have to address as they come back up on our radar, and as cruel tyrants we reserve the right to make extremely rare exceptions, but I'm afraid free-action area shaken doesn't sit great. :( Sorry. This one'll have to be Standard, but at least that'll give you more pp to play with.

 

One of the other refs was kind enough to clarify why the Accurate on Super-Strength seemed off to me in a way I couldn't quite articulate: Accurate functions as Attack Specialization, and applying it to Super-Strength (which is weird, but probably mechanically feasible?) would function as Attack Specialization: Unarmed. Unfortunately, Attack Spec.: Unarmed does not provide a bonus to grapple checks.

 

Last but not least, consensus on the Dream Dimension thing is that it's (1) really neat, but (2) would not allow you to invade the dreams of any specific people. A sort of shared, dream-inspired setting is pretty great and the GM may have individual dreamers/dreams touch on it as appropriate, but deliberately entering into a person's dreams or nightmares is the sort of thing that should require an 'attack' and allow for a save, which is why it's normally built with something like Mind Reading, Illusion, or maybe even Mind Control (see the dreaded green section of Ultimate Power), depending on exactly what you're going for. 

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It's not a Super-Strength power, it's Enhanced Strength. :P In any case, I corrected the Grapple bonus down to +6/+16.

 

I switched out Unveil Myself for a Dream Invasion power built off Mind Reading and Drain Will.

 

Since the Dream Dimension is just one place and not every single dream, ever, I recalculated the cost of Super-Movement for going into just one dimension.

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Honestly you could stick Metamorph on the Morph 2 effect, seeing as it's a feat and therefore the trait changing is optional when in use.  It just looks weird to have it on Morph 0 imo.  That or buy a single rank of single appearance morph for the metamorph feat.   SBut, seeing as you did it in the Dream Self version I don't see why you wouldn't in the real world version.

 

Extended would be a enhanced sense rather than a feat  (You could actually make Uncanny Dodge one too, but there's no functional difference in this case).

 

In the Dreamself you didn't list how many ranks of Damage you took.  I can tell it's 10, but it's a quick adjustment.

 

Basically all minor things and I really only need clarification on the Metamorph.

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I separated the Morph and Metamorph on his meat body because it is two different things. The regular Morph is a magic spell that lets him build a physical body, while the Metamorph is him going into a dream. On his dream body though, it's all a result of his (for lack of a better term) natural powers.

 

I copied the Super-Senses off Samaritan's sheet, so I fixed it there but it's the same thing on that sheet.

 

I fixed the Damage rank on his Dream side.

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Archiving character at player request.

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