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Ladybug


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

Context

This character is an original creation. We often call these “homemades” or “homebrewed” – think home cooking or craft beer.

Many of these characters were created to take part in tabletop role-playing game sessions. Others were invented as a creative writing exercise, often as part of a community event.

This specific character was done for a game set in an alternate world during World War II. The year is 1947 (the war running longer here).


Background

  • Real Name:
  • Height: 5’4″ Weight: 108lbs Age: 15 Years
  • Eyes: Storm Grey Hair: Black (Long – to shoulder blades)
  • Notes: Exiled involuntarily (stranded in the time stream) from 1998. Subplot issues, revolving around her age and the expected role of young females (even powerful metahuman young females) will be a campaign plot.


History

Ranadium is a very rare artificially produced heavy metal. The Fatal vulnerability to the stuff is painful, the loss vulnerability is agonizing.

Jessica is from the future – 1998 in fact. She has only been in 1947 for about 8 months. She has only possessed her superpowers for about 8 and a half months.

She was a normal teenager in every respect up until she was kidnapped by Bradley Stein. Mr Stein is a “normal” twentieth century Neo-Nazi. He is also a Nuclear Physicist. In 1942 Mr. Shaw’s grandparents had also been Nazis, and they had performed experiments upon wartime civilians. There had been two sets of journals kept, a laboratory copy and a personal copy. Mr. Stein had retained his grandparents personal copy.

Their experiments had been chemical in nature. One of the substance they tested was called HQ-88. Subjects has shown a very low level of mental powers. Telekinesis of a few ounces, sporadic ability to read minds via touch, etc. The most powerful of the subjects had even exhibited a force field capable of blocking truncheon blows (though not, in the end, gunfire). In the end, the experiments were abandoned, and most of the subjects killed. A small handful were rescued at some point by a band of superheroes.

In late 1996, Bradley Stein was finishing a five year study of a rare metal called Stanadium. The only known samples had come from a small number of meteorites gathered from various locations in the southern hemisphere. The only really unusual property that it had exhibited was the ability to absorb small amounts of radiation. Stein (who was careful to keep his political ideas secret), had arranged for a small amount of Stanadium to be used in control rods in a nuclear reactor.

This was a field test to see how well the substance might perform as a dampener/radiation absorber, to possibly make nuclear fission safer. Well, it didn’t. Instead, in the presence of nuclear fission, the Stanadium transmutated into another substance. A very radioactive substance that Stein named Ranadium.

The radiation that Ranadium puts out is unusual. Most of it is conventional in nature, with a half life of a couple of hundred years. Part of it though, seemed to be decaying at a more rapid rate. Somehow, by a quirk accident, Stein noticed that the radiation affected the brain waves of nearby organisms. Further experimentation revealed that lab rats had a noticeable gain in intelligence while within the rays.

By this time, he was becoming rather unstable (because of the effects of Ranadium ?). He remembered HQ-88, and wondered whether Ranadium would enhance the low level mental powers provided by the drug. Unfortunately, the journals did not contain the formula. Painstaking research revealed the names and present whereabouts of the surviving experimental subjects. Only three were left. Two were Jessica’s grandparents. Stein kidnapped the grandparents (they went out shopping one day, and vanished). The other survivor is a U.S. Senator, and Stein didn’t deem him safe to touch.

His experiments resulted in their deaths, but from their brains he was able to partially recreate the HQ-88 formula. Ranadium did indeed increase their powers though. He next kidnapped both Jessica, her father, and six other grandchildren of survivors. 2 of these were Jessica’s cousins.

It took the death of Jessica’s father to provide the full formula for H.Q.- 88. By this time, Stein was very, very intelligent, and very near to death. The Ranadium was increasing his intelligence at the same time it was killing him. Still, he was cautious. By an unknown process, he was able to use Ranadium to alter the HQ-88 formula. It took the death of two of the other children to stabilize the altered formula. Now, the altered HQ-88 formula dramatically raised mental powers and was permanent to boot. Jessica and the other four subjects were dosed with the drug.

They all developed metahuman powers. They still couldn’t escape though, since by now Stein was an incredible genius, and had carefully planned for the possibility of their powers. He had built neutralizing collars that nullified their powers. He was also near to death. He was loath to take the perfected serum for fear of what it might do to his new genius. Especially since the formula produced metahumans all were badly affected by the presence of unchanged Ranadium. It was now poison to them.

Before taking the serum himself, he designed a time machine. His plan was to travel back in time to Nazi Germany, and use his knowledge of HQ-88 and Nuclear Fission to enable the Nazi’s to win the war. The machine was powered by human minds. In preparation for leaving, he made notes and blueprints of his devices. He then took a variant on the altered HQ-88 formula. It saved his life, but it did destroy his heightened genius. Now, while still noticeably brighter than he was before, he has lost the spark that enabled him to break the bounds of conventional science. It also trapped him in agony.

The alterations to the formula were meant to insure that his intelligence would not be destroyed. Instead, the changes partially produce the now toxic effects of Ranadium. They also produce considerably greater Metahuman powers. While he now possesses formidable powers, his body is partially crippled. The formula is constantly killing him, but not as fast as it is healing him. Horrible wounds will develop on his body, and then heal before one’s eyes (he has regeneration: 16).

Also, the notes that he had made cannot now be read. While at the height of his genius, he had written them for simplicity, he simply did not realize how far he had risen. To decipher his notes now would require Genius, and the OV/RV of the attempt is 16/16.

He used the young metahumans to power his time machine. Only three of them survived the trip . However, the machine is flawed. It brought him back to 1946, when the war in the “real” world was over. Here it was still going on (the machine carries one back in time, but to an alternate dimension). An explosion resulting from the early death of one of the human engine parts partially destroyed the machine, and stranded them here.

The group was picked up by Nazi patrols. Jessica and the other young metahumans were rescued by a group of British metahumans. Stein, however, escaped. The rest is history.

Quick note : Ranadium was used in the construction of the Machine. Quantities of it could be, and probably were salvaged from the wreckage. Plus, it is only a matter of time before Stein manages to make more – unless he is stopped.


Personality

Bright, bubbly and hyper. Note that she is also scared, and a long way from home, in a world that she doesn’t like.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ladybug

Dex: 07 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: Student\Adventurer
Inf: 08 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 026 HP: 017

Powers:
Force Field: 06, Invulnerability: 06, Jumping: 02, Mind Blast: 08, Telekinesis: 12, Regeneration: 05, Telepathy: 06, Mind Probe: 06, Sealed Systems: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Force Field: Field Protects User Only, Can Attack Through Field Mental/Mystical Protection as well
  • Force Field provides protection against Mental, Physical and Mystical attacks
  • Physical and Mental attacks can be made through the field
  • The Field is limited to her (even carried characters are not provided any protection)
  • Force Field produces a “sparkle” effect that slightly distorts her features. 
  • Invulnerability: Counteracts Physical Damage, Counteracts Mental Damage, Counteracts Mystical Damage
  • Mind Blast: No Range ; Mind Blast manifests as a two foot long lightly glowing golden blade
  • Mind Blast has no AV and is wielded with DEX
  • The blade generally extends from her right hand, though she has manifested it from her left hand
  • An automatic action is needed to summon the blade.
  • Telekinesis: No Range ; Telekinesis cannot be used for flight, nor to provide any movement powers
  • Telekinesis can be extended through objects to control them (wrap ropes around objects, etc)
  • Telekinesis almost always used to simulate superstrength (think Superboy)
  • Mind Probe: No Range

Skills:
Acrobatics: 08, Martial Artist: 00, Medicine (First Aid)*: 07

Advantages:
Attractive, Sharp Eye, Insta-Change, Lightning Reflexes

Drawbacks:
Age: Young, Exile: Involuntary, Fatal Vulnerability (Ranadium, Range of 2 APs, Rare), Loss Vulnerability (Ranadium, Range of 1 APs, Physical Attributes, Mental Attributes, and All Powers) Arch Enemy (Bradley Stein)


Design Notes

The character is in some ways cheesy. Overall, though, I like her. I haven’t ran her by the GM for modifications.

She started as a 675 hero point character, though with her drawbacks, she is over a thousand points. While it can be rough, I like to start a character with a low number of hero points. It makes the first adventure rough, but you get more goodies to begin with.


By Richard Lyon

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