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Cypher (Batman and Robin enemy) (DC Comics)

Cypher

(Avery Twombey)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Cypher is a super-minor Batman bad guy. He appeared in one 1993 storyline, then made a cameo where he was killed off. That’s it. He doesn’t even have a costume or anything.

On the other hand, his powers can be genuinely useful for Gamemasters. So having a profile for him can be quite handy, he’s easy to use and play, and he has a slight bit of cachet for having fought Batman.


Background

  • Real Name: Avery Twombey.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Gotham City.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 140 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Bald


Powers and Abilities

The Cypher has an extraordinary, hypnotic voice. He can brainwash victims and hypnotise them in order to give them suggestions.

However subjects have to passively listen to his voice for the effect to take hold. Usually, the Cypher arranges to introduce a subliminal tape in the subject’s environment. It will order the subject to meet him at some secluded spot. Then he finishes talking to his entranced victim.

Other common ways to have the subject listen passively to his commands include 

  • Being tied to a chair with a rag stuffed in the mouth.
  • Already being entranced by a previous hypnotic command.
  • Expecting to just chat with the guy and not expect anything special. It is possible for an observant to realise that something is abnormal about Twombey’s voice, though.
  • Being asleep.

The Cypher almost always has the subject regress to childhood. Then Twombey assumes the role of an authority figure, such as a father or teacher. This lessens the subject’s resistance.


History

The Cypher first met the Batman and Robin when working as an industrial spy. He was after an important weapon project for the US government, which had been split into three sub-projects. One of the three had been awarded to Waynetech.

The Cypher hypnotised the CEOs of the other two companies. After pumping them for information had them commit suicide. He then zeroed in on Lucius Fox to round up all the necessary info on the whole project.

Wayne’s world

The Cypher infiltrated Waynetech as a repairman for the elevator music system. He planted a tape with a subliminal track, which brainwashed Fox into coming to meet him on a bridge. Batman (Bruce Wayne), Robin (Tim Drake) and Jean-Paul Valley rescued Fox in the nick of time. The Cypher was arrested and sent to Blackgate.

Cypher (DC Comics) (Batman / Robin foe) face closeup

There, he became an ally of Cluemaster. Cluemaster made Cypher the cornerstone of his plan to escape – along with Czonk and the Electrocutioner. The Cypher brainwashed their psychiatrist, who brought them guns, and they escaped.

In the sewers, the Cypher attempted to take mental control of the other three convicts. But Cluemaster had anticipated this, and all three were wearing earplugs. Cluemaster then gunned down the Cypher, leaving him for dead in the sewer.


Description

Just a bald, slim guy with thick glasses and an incredibly smooth and precise voice. He looks a bit odd, though.


Personality

A slippery, creepy old guy with a golden voice. He has an unhealthy and vicious vibe, and seems to really enjoy mental domination.

He’s cruel, and doesn’t care about collateral damage.


Quotes

“You’re six years old now. Tell me about your greatest fear. Tell me about your fondest wish.”


Marvel Universe

He could be a minor student of Doctor Faustus, with a small voice box mutation.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Cypher

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Professional criminal
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 010 HP: 015

Powers:
Hypnosis: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Hypnosis can only work if the subjects listen passively to the Cypher’s voice (-2).
  • The subjects are not actually entranced during the first Phase. A Strenuous INT/WIL roll will reveal something is weird about the way the Cypher has started to speak.
  • Hypnosis will still work if recorded on a tape, CD, etc. (+1).

Skills:
Artist (Actor): 04, Charisma (Interrogation): 08, Medicine (Brainwashing): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma and Medicine are Powered Skills and Contingent Upon Hypnosis.

Advantages:
Familiarity (Espionage).

Connections:
Underworld (Low).

Drawbacks:
MPR (near-sighted).


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Cypher (Avery Twombey) — Averaged PL2.4

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 00 00 00 00 02 01 01

Powers

Listen to the man with the golden voice ● 11 points ● Descriptor: Sonic hypnosis
Affliction 5 (Resisted by Will, Entranced/Compelled/Controlled, Cumulative, Reach 3). The subject must be passively listening to Cypher for the effect to work, but his voice also works if recorded and played so it’s a Quirk.
Another Quirk is that it’s possible to notice that his voice isn’t normal and something’s going on (it’s a Challenging Perception or Insight roll).

Combat Advantages

None demonstrated.

Other Advantages

Equipment 1.

Skills

Deception 5 (+6), Expertise (Espionage) 3 (+5), Insight 4 (+5), Perception 3 (+4)

Offense

Initiative +0
Unarmed +1, Close, Damage 0
Golden voice +5, Close (Reach 3), Affliction 5

Defence

Dodge 01 Fortitude 01
Parry 00 Toughness 00
Will 05

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Handicap Twombey is near-sighted.
  • Temper He’s a creepy and somewhat sadistic little creep, and might over-indulge in his power. It’s not likely, though.
  • Power loss If he cannot speak, he cannot use Affliction. For instance, that happened when Robin kicked him in the throat.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 5, Dodge/Toughness PL 1, Parry/Toughness PL 0, Fort/Will PL 3.
  • Points total 34. Abilities 8, Defences 6, Skills 8, Powers 11, Devices 0, Advantages 1. Equiv. PL 3.

Notes

He’s much more dangerous than the PL suggests, obvs. Cumulative mind control is bad.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Batman comics (DC #657-658, Robin vol. 2 #1-2).

Helper(s): www.batmanuk.freeserve.co.uk (defunct) for the Cypher’s real name ; Danielle Mendus.

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