Sunday, May 11, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Redbird

This is the first in a series of posts detailing some of the characters I created over time. Some were creations from when I first got into comics, while other came from when I started playing Marvel Super Heroes, HERO, and onto Mutants & Masterminds (which these initial stats are all for M&M 2E, but I am going to post the MSH stats in time). I also had the dream of becoming a comic artist back in the late 80's and early 90's, and some of these were born from the self-made comics I created back then. These characters now have a place in my supers setting.  First up is Redbird.


PL: 10 (150pp)

Abilities: STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 16 (+3) CON: 14 (+2) INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 14 (+2) CHA: 14 (+2)

Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+11), Bluff 8 (+10), Climb 8 (+10), Concentration 8 (+10), Craft [Mechanical] 8 (+11), Craft [Electronic] 8 (+11), Diplomacy 8 (+10), Escape Artist 8 (+11), Gather Information 8 (+10), Investigate 8 (+11), Knowledge [Technology] 8 (+11), Notice 8 (+10), Profession [Engineer] 8 (+10), Search 8 (+11), Sense Motive 8 (+10), Sleight of Hand 8 (+11), Stealth 8 (+11)

Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, Blind-Fight, Critical Strike, Defensive Roll (2), Distract (1), Dodge Focus (1), Elusive Target, Equipment (3), Improved Disarm, Improved Throw, Improved Trip, Instant Up, Precise Shot (1), Sneak Attack (1), Stunning Attack, Uncanny Dodge

Powers: Device (Costume: Hard to Lose, [Flight: Gliding 4 ranks], [Protection 5 ranks], [Super-Senses: Infravision 1 rank] 8pp total)

Combat: Attack +12 (+4 Quarterstaff / +1 Shurikens) [Unarmed +2] Defense 13 (10 flat-footed) Init +7

Saves: Toughness +7 (+2 flat-footed) Fortitude +5 Reflex +8 Will +6

Equipment: Quarterstaff (4ep), Shurikens (Autofire, 4ep), Smoke Grenades (4ep), Flashlight (1ep), Digital Audio Recorder (1ep), Multi-tool (1ep)

Complications: Duty (as Director of his Youth Center and as a major philanthropist), Guilt (Over lying to his parents and to the kids to cover his being a hero)

Drawbacks: None

Abilities 28 + Skills 36 (144 Ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 8 + Combat 48 + Saves 12 – Drawbacks 0 = 150pp

Trade offs: +3 Def -3 Tough, +2 Atk -2 DC

Real Name: Jason Washington
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 200 lbs.
Hair: Black, but he shaves his head.
Eyes: Brown
Identity: Secret
Nationality: American
Ethnicity: African-American

Jason Washington was born to a poor, but hard working family in St Louis. His father was a delivery truck driver for a florist and his mother worked for a maid service. Life was tough, but they were together and that’s all that mattered. However, the neighborhood got worse and worse year after year as hard times continued to erode the area. After their apartment was broken into for the third time, Jason’s parents decided to try and move out of area to a less violent part of town, but while out apartment hunting they were killed in an auto accident while he was with a neighbor.

Jason was taken in as a ward of the state and after a couple years bouncing around from foster home to foster home, he was adopted by lawyer and his wife and went to live with them in their affluent St. Charles community. His adopted father was impressed by Jason’s intelligence and wit (though Jason was given to fits of bitterness).

It was tough at first for Jason. He’d never had much of anything growing up, so going from nothing to wealth took some time to get used to. His parents were patient and understanding even though Jason, who was 10 by this time, tried pushing the boundaries as much as he could. In time, he learned to trust his new parents and grew to love them. They supported Jason’s burgeoning love of electronics, and his father, who was once a national Martial Arts champion before studying law, taught him discipline, humility, and honor as well as being able to handle himself when words wouldn't diffuse a situation.

While he became comfortable with his new school and new friends, he still missed the old neighborhood. His family would drive near where he used to live occasionally on their way downtown to watch a Rams or Cardinals game, and his heart filled with sadness as he watched what was left of his old neighborhood degrade into lawlessness and ever-deepening poverty. He vowed to do something to help the downtrodden of St Louis someday.

Jason graduated top in his class and went on to study Engineering at the University of Missouri: Columbia, where he got a full-ride scholarship not only in academics, but for baseball as well. He studied hard and became an All-American Athlete for his skill playing center field for the MU Tigers. After college, where he graduated near the top in his class once again, he went on to work for a large engineering firm just outside of St Louis and spent many of his nights and weekends volunteering at a youth center in St Louis near his old neighborhood.

Four years after college, Jason’s big break came when a glider suit he designed on his own time for use in military and extreme sports was bought for an extremely large sum by the government. It was enough money that Jason was able to finally do what he’d always wanted to do: try and help the people of St Louis.

Over the next couple of years, Jason pumped money into various charities and then ended up building a state-of-the-art youth center (named the Kingshighway Youth Center after the street it sits on) where kids could get tutoring and have a safe place to play away from the violence that seemed so prevalent outside. His parents helped him out quite a bit with counsel and legal advice as well as lending a hand in tutoring kids.

Things were going good, but like with all things, the good times never seem to last long. It was always a constant struggle to keep kids from fighting or keeping the gang and drug influence from creeping into the center. When a promising young kid got killed outside the center for the meager money he had, Jason lost it. He went into seclusion for days, just sitting in the dark crying out in anger and coming close to succumbing to depression. He realized that something had to be done, that someone had to take a forceful stand. He had seen and read new reports about the good work being done by heroes in cities like New York and Freedom City, and realized that St Louis needs a hero. St Louis needed someone more than just another man, they needed someone to be a symbol of hope that someone is truly looking out for them and is fighting to make the city safer for those that aren't strong enough to fight for themselves.

It took a little time, but within a couple weeks, Jason had upgraded his prototype glider suit with protective abilities and a helmet complete with infravision capabilities. He decided that he would call himself Redbird after the mascot of the St Louis Cardinals. It wasn't that menacing, but unlike Batman of Gotham, Jason wanted Redbird to have a less menacing image. Sure, the villains may not take him seriously at first, but they will once they feel his bo staff or fist crashing into their heads!

Ever since starting his career as a crime fighter, Redbird has cleaned up some of the crime in St Louis, but he has started to see how corrupt the city is from cops taking bribes to corporations exploiting the working class. He gets frustrated when the system releases the truly evil thugs back out on the streets for him to fight again, but he keeps fighting because no one else seems to want to.

Overall, Jason enjoys being a hero, though he doesn't like lying about his crime fighting to his parents and the kids that look up to him. His parents don’t suspect anything, at least as far as he knows, but he’s pretty sure a couple of the kids may have figured him out.

Redbird's costume is red and white. The glider wings are tucked into the sides of the costume and unfurl easily when needed. The helmet is styled to look like the head of a cardinal, with only Jason's mouth left showing. The eye pieces have an infravision inset that turn on with the touch of a button. His bo staff collapses and hooks onto his belt where the rest of his gear is held.

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