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Mister Jepperd (Sweet Tooth comics by Lemire)

Tommy Jepperd


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • We have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic stuff, I guess.
  • This entry steers clear of S P O I L E R S about the storyline, but it does spoil the experience of coming uninformed to the series and gradually figuring out the context.
  • What S P O I L E R S exist in this entry are IIRC all covered by Sweet Tooth #1-7 (inclusive).

Background

  • Real Name: Presumably Thomas Jepperd
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Louise Powell Jepperd (wife, deceased), Wayne Jepperd (brother, presumably deceased), son
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile (chiefly in Nebraska and Colorado)
  • Height: 6’3” Weight: 230 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: White (previously brown)


Powers & Abilities

Mr. Jepperd is a big, strong man with a highly developed killer instinct. He just plain excels at violence – armed or unarmed.

Since he’s usually fighting random civilian survivors with little or no combat experience or training (in DC Heroes terms, their Skills and Attributes are generally 02s), he can engage multiple armed men with excellent odds of prevailing. He knows exactly what he’s doing and never hesitates ; they don’t and they do.

He seems to be operating on the level of an elite soldier, but can be defeated by a trained professional – though when that happened he hadn’t eaten in days.

Mister Jepperd draws his rifle from its saddle holster

Jepperd has an amazing will to live, and his body can endure and heal wounds with impressive vitality. He has been repeatedly likened to a cockroach – he just can’t seem to be killed, even when he dearly wants to die. Even in bad conditions, his wounds heal cleanly and will not leave permanent damage.

Tommy usually has some weapons – what seems to be a .45 semi-auto pistol or two, and what I assume is a .30-06 bolt-action hunting rifle. He doesn’t usually have a melee weapon, since he can reliably kill people with his bare hands.

Mr. Jepperd usually travels on horseback, as a lone rider.


History

Tommy Jepperd is just muscle – all through his life, he’s only ever been good at physical conflict. He was famous as a ice hockey player and became the captain of the Minnesota Wildcats. Having no other professional skill, he played well past his prime.

However, a combination of age and his nasty temper leading to fights on the ice made it clear that his career would end on a sour note. In his youth he was apparently nicknamed “the leopard” by fans, as a pun on his last name and the name of his team.

His brother Wayne was hired by the elderly Mrs. Powell after her husband died, to help with the farm. During the off-season Tommy would join Wayne to work the fields.

When Mrs. Powell became sick, her daughter Louise came from New York City to take care of her during her last months. Though Louise wasn’t interested in remaining in rural Minnesota, she and Tommy fell in love despite the age difference and having so little in common.

When Louise’s mother passed away, the couple established themselves in her house. There they lived happily for several years, though Tommy remained convinced that the arty, well-educated Louise was too good for him.

Unprecedented morbidity

Then The Sick struck – a virus rapidly resulting in what seemed to be 90+% morbidity. The Sick wasn’t behaving like any known virus, and within months it was too late – the infrastructure disintegrated as too many had died for society to keep going.

For a time the survivors thought that it was over and that they had developed an immunity, as with most plagues. But as it turns out, The Sick kept on killing unpredictably, and most reached the conclusion that it was over for mankind.

Mister Jepperd clubbing with a rifle

In many areas, the situation was worsened as authorities and the military let go of the doomed population, fortified themselves and looted stocks of food, fuel, ammunition, etc. to hold on as long as possible. However, they also had no clear mean to shield themselves from The Sick.

Tommy and Louise survived the initial die-off, but soon realised that they couldn’t stay home as they had no information and would soon run out of food. They took to the road, and joined communities of survivors.

However, the survivors’ camps would randomly become plague camps overnight, and the original spirit of solidarity turned sour as the stocks of food dwindled. The Jepperds eventually found it safer to operate on their own.

Hopeless

In this grave new world, Tommy found that his talent for violence and his decisiveness were vital assets. Now his strength and killer instinct protected Louise – with Tommy, she was safer than practically anyone else.

They endured for 6 or 7 years, and though the harrowing conditions, hunger, cold, violence, fatigue, etc. took their toll they remained strong.

However, Louise realised that she was pregnant. They could not remain on the road – they had to somehow find some sort of stable community. Furthermore, Louise was greatly worried by persistent rumours that kids were now all born with terrible animalistic deformities – though Tommy thought that it was all nonsense.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

The loss of his beloved wife broke Mr. Jepperd. For weeks or perhaps months, his only goal was to fulfill his promise to take her home – in the only manner that remained possible.

The plan was that he would then drink a lot and get himself killed, but that didn’t work.

Mister Jepperd rides through a barricade

Though he has little education and isn’t good at abstract thinking or planning ahead, Mr. Jepperd has other forms of smarts and is a competent, cunning survivor.

He relies a lot on his ability to kill people – but, well, it works, and he has come up with decent plans when just fighting wasn’t feasible. Still, his plans have a step A and a step B, but C and later tend to be undefined.

Jepperd sees himself as a complete loner who doesn’t give a flying eff about anybody’s welfare, and kills at the drop of a hat if that accomplishes his objective. He’s a burnout, with no hope left amidst his complete cynicism, and wanting to die.

However, despite this and his own self-image as a crude brute only given worth by Louise, he has a strong undercurrent of decency. If prompted, especially by a kid or a young female, he will reluctantly do the right thing and defend innocents.


Quotes

“If you think you can pull that trigger faster than I can grab that gun and break your fucking neck, you’re welcome to try. We’re all dead anyway… now or a week from now… don’t make no difference to me.”

“Look kid… everyone got sick. Everyone got real sick and died. And those who ain’t died of it yet are sure as Hell gonna soon. It’s in all of us, see, all of us ’cept your kind. You hybrid kids don’t get sick. Something fucked-up in yer DNA or some shit. Who knows.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Mr. Jepperd

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Drifter
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 012 HP: 025

Powers:
Invulnerability*: 04, Regeneration: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Invulnerability and Regeneration are Form Function
  • Invulnerability takes hours to work, and can only be used if there’s a realistic chance of survival (e.g., no decapitation or such)

Skills:
Animal handling (Horses): 03, Charisma (Intimidation)*: 04, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 05

Advantages
Familiarity (Ice hockey, Farm work), Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Anti-mooks Schtick)

Connections:
None

Drawbacks:
Age (Old), Guilt, Minor Rage

Equipment:

  • .45 semi-auto pistol (x2) [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 15, R#03]
  • Bolt-action .30-06 hunting rifle [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 06, Ammo: 05, R#02, Drawback: Long Reload, Misc.: an Automatic Action is needed to ready the next round by working the bolt]

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Sweet Tooth series by Jeff Lemire, published by DC’s Vertigo

Writeup completed on the 14th of December, 2013.

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