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Presto (PL10/12) - Sophistemon

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Presto the Preposterous


Power Level: PL10/12, 156/181PP

Trade-Offs: None.

Unspent Power Points: 25


In Brief: A former stage magician that discovered a pathway to real magic, Samuel Steiner once used his amazing abilities to commit a whirlwind tour of extravagant robberies that catapulted him, briefly, to the kind of super-stardom that he had never known as a mundane performer. Eventually captured and incarcerated, he has only recently finished serving his sentence and has returned home to Freedom City.


Residence: Freedom City.

Base of Operations: A small, unimpressive apartment.

Catchphrase: “Presto!”

Alternate Identity: Samuel Steiner.

Identity: Public.

Birthplace: Reno, Nevada.

Occupation: Vigilante.

Affiliations: Solitary.

Family: George Steiner (father; estranged), Martha Steiner (mother; estranged).


Description: Presto is obsessed with his appearance. Tall and athletic, with an aggressively maintained physique and perfectly combed hair, he insists on always looking his very best for the public. Presto dresses in an immaculately tailored three piece suit, complete with tailcoat and crimson vest. White gloves and a simple domino mask conclude his costume. While in uniform Presto is almost never seen without his magic wand, which appears as little more than a simple, white-capped length of black wood.

Age: 33.

Apparent Age: Early 30s.

Gender: Male.

Ethnicity: Caucasian.

Height: 6’1”.

Weight: 185lbs.

Eyes: Brown.

Hair: Brown.


Power Descriptions: Presto was a stage magician who, through long study and intensive training, has learned to command the power of real sorcery. His knowledge allows him to launch bolts of elemental energy, create temporary constructs, levitate heavy objects, ensnare his enemies, and transmit himself through space. A ritualist and artificer, he has enchanted his costume with spells of flight and protection.


History: Inspired as a child to pursue a career in stage magic, Presto achieved a level of skill that should have enshrined him as a master of his craft. Unfortunately, he shared a world with men and women possessing abilities that made his acts of illusion appear paltry by comparison. Desperate for recognition, he researched and attempted to incorporate real magic into his act, but an accident led to the end of his career and the destruction of his reputation. Scorned by his peers and unable to find work, Presto embarked on a series of flamboyant and high-profile robberies that ended only with his imprisonment.


Personality & Motivation: Samuel Steiner has always loved to be the center of attention, but Presto craves the limelight to the point of obsession. He is boisterous and bombastic, prone to grand gestures and speechifying. He talks with his mouth, his hands, and his magic all at once. He has become a hero for selfish and short-sighted reasons: he failed as a performer, as a super-villain, and now feels that he has one last shot at the recognition that he knows that he deserves. In time, he may see the error of his ways and evolve into a genuine hero, but in the meantime… doesn't everyone love a good redemption story?


Powers & Tactics: Presto is direct to a fault. The sheer amount of magical power under his command, combined with the protection offered to him by his enchanted clothing, permit him to enter combat against mundane opponents without much fear of danger. When facing empowered enemies he tends to be more cautious, but still attempts to turn the battle into a narrative. If there are goons, he takes them on first, building tension before moving on to topple their leader in a grandiose and climactic victory. Even when deprived of his magic, Presto's skills make him difficult to capture and contain for very long.



Accident: Presto relies on his wand to maintain true control over his powers. Should he be divested of the focus that it provides, his magic could backfire in an embarrassing and potentially dangerous fashion.

Fame: as a former minor celebrity and an even more minor super-villain, there are many people in Freedom City who recognize Presto even, or perhaps especially, when he's not dressed in his costume.

Hatred: despite his (largely desperate) turn towards the light, Presto can't help but harbor a deep and irrational loathing for the superhero responsible for the humiliating defeat that finally led to his capture.

Obsession: Presto craves the spotlight, and will almost always act to put himself at the dead center of attention. His insistence on being noticed is not only disastrous for stealth missions, it is also annoying.

Reputation: his previous actions have made it hard for many people, particularly those among the heroic community, to believe that Presto's desire to be hero are really genuine. His grandstanding doesn't help.

Responsibility: the terms of his release dictate that Presto must attend weekly meetings with Doctor Jacqueline Hyde, his court-appointed metal health counselor. He is very slowly falling in love with her.

Secret: unlike most heroes, who must maintain their secret identities, Presto's was already revealed. Instead, he focuses on keeping his crippling dependence on his wand a secret from the world at large.


Abilities: 2 + 6 + 4 + 6 + 4+ 8 = 30PP

Strength: 12 (+1)

Dexterity: 16 (+3)

Constitution: 14 (+2)

Intelligence: 16 (+3)

Wisdom: 14 (+2)

Charisma: 18 (+4)


Combat: 10 + 20 = 30PP

Initiative: +3 (+3 Base, +0 Misc)

Attack: +5 Melee, +10 Ranged

Grapple: +6

Defense: +10 Base, +5 Flat-Footed

Knockback: -5


Saving Throws: 5 + 5 + 5 = 15PP

Toughness: +10 (+2 Con, +8 Misc)

Fortitude: +7 (+2 Con, +5)

Reflex: +8 (+3 Dex, +5)

Will: +7 (+2 Wis, +5)


Skills: 120R = 30PP

Acrobatics 4 (+7)

Bluff 8 (+12)*

Climb 1 (+2)

Computers 4 (+7)

Concentration 4 (+6)

Craft: Artistic 12 (+15)

Diplomacy 4 (+8)

Disable Device 4 (+7)

Disguise 4 (+8)

Drive 4 (+7)

Escape Artist 8 (+11)*

Gather Information 4 (+8)

Handle Animal 0 (+4)

Intimidate 4 (+8)

Investigate 4 (+7)

Knowledge: Arcane Lore 12 (+15)*

Notice 8 (+10)

Perform: Stage Magic 9 (+13)

Search 8 (+11)

Sense Motive 8 (+10)

Sleight of Hand 8 (+11)*

Stealth 4 (+7)

Survival 1 (+3)

Swim 1 (+2)


Feats: 15PP

Artificer – Use Knowledge (arcane lore) and Craft to create temporary magical devices.

Attack Focus (ranged) 5 – +5 bonus to ranged attack rolls.

Attractive – +4 bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks with people affected by your looks.

Eidetic Memory – Perfect recall of everything you’ve experienced.

Equipment 1 – Acquire 5 points worth of equipment.

Evasion – Suffer less damage from attacks allowing a Reflex save.

Improvised Tools – No penalty for not having tools for a skill.

Luck 1 – Gain an additional starting hero point.

Ritualist – You can create and cast arcane rituals.

Skill Mastery* – Choose four skills you can take 10 with even under pressure.

Uncanny Dodge (auditory) – Retain your dodge bonus while flat-footed.


Equipment: 1PP = 5EP

HQ (Toughness 15, Tiny, Computer, Concealed, Defense System [Snare Effect], Living Space, Security System) [5EP]


Powers: 16 + 12 + 6 = 34PP

Magic 10 (Magic, All Magic, 12PP Array) [16PP]

Base Power: Blast 10 (Flaw: Unreliable [50%]; Feats: Precise, Variable 1 – any elemental) [12PP/12PP]

Alternate Power: Create Object 5 (Extra: Movable; Flaw: Unreliable [50%]; Feats: Precise, Stationary) [12PP/12PP]

Alternate Power: Move Object 5 (Extra: Perception; Flaw: Unreliable [50%]; Feats: Precise, Subtle [12/12PP]

Alternate Power: Snare 10 (Flaw: Unreliable [50%]; Feats: Reversible, Variable 1 – any elemental) [12/12PP]

Alternate Power: Teleport 5 (Extra: Accurate; Flaw: Unreliable [50%]; Feats: Easy, Turnabout. [12/12]


Device 3 (Magic Costume, All Magic; 15PP Container; Flaws: Hard-to-Lose) [12PP]

Power: Dimensional Pocket 1 (Flaw: Storage Only) [1/15PP]

Power: Enhanced Trait 3 (Feats: Quick Change 2, Quick Draw 1) [3/15PP]

Power: Flight 1 [2/15PP]

Power: Immunity 2 Environmental Cold, Environmental Heat (Flaw: Half-Effect) [1/15PP]

Power: Protection 8 [8/15PP]


Device 2 (Magic Wand, All Magic; 10PP Container; Flaws: Easy-to-Lose) [6PP]

Power: removes the 'Unreliable' flaw from the 'Magic 10' array [10PP]


Drawbacks: (-0) = -0PP


DC Block

ATTACK      RANGE      SAVE                        EFFECT

Unarmed 1   Touch      DC16 Toughness (Staged)     Damage (Physical)

Blast 10    100ft      DC25 Toughness (Staged)     Damage (Energy)

Snare 10    100ft      DC2 Reflex (Staged)         Damage (Energy)

Totals: Abilities (30) + Combat (30) + Saving Throws (15) + Skills (32) + Feats (15) + Powers (34) + Miscellaneous (???) - Drawbacks (-) = 156/181 Power Points.

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Power Notes

Create Object: 5x5' cubes with a Strength of 25 and a force of 800lbs.

Flight: 10mph, 88 ft per round.

Move Object: effective strength of 25; LL-266 lbs, ML-533 lbs, HL-800 lbs, ML-1.6k lbs.

Teleport: 500 ft as a move action, five miles as a full action.


Movement Notes

Flight: 10mph, 88ft per round.

Jumping: RJ-11 ft, SJ-5 ft, HJ-2 ft.

Teleport: 500 ft as a move action, five miles as a full action.

Throwing Distance: 130 lbs 5 ft, 10 lbs 25 ft.


Carrying Capacity Notes

Light Load: 43 lbs.

Medium Load: 86 lbs.

Heavy Load: 130 lbs.

Maximum Load: 260 lbs.

Push/Drag: 650 lbs.

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