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Nikola Tesla (5 fists of science)

Nikola Tesla

(Five Fists of Science version)


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

Context

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a scientific and engineering genius. His inventions were critical in harnessing electrical power on a large scale – hence the “the man who invented the XXth century” title of one of his biographies.

Tesla is also a major science geek icon. Part of his mystique is his later work, particularly about the wireless transmission of power, which quite like physics-breaking “weird science” alternative history fodder. “Tesla tech” is sometimes used as a shorthand to “explain” electrical super-tech in alternate XXth centuries, like in the Red Alert video games.

There’s also the sexy Tesla  approach, but it’s less widespread.

This character profile uses the real-world Tesla’s biography as a base, for those who aren’t familiar with his life and accomplishments. Once this has been cleared, it veers into the depiction of Tesla in the Five Fists of Science graphic novel by Matt Fraction and Steven Sanders.

Five Fists of Science was published in 2006. It is full of steampunk.


Background

  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Rev. Milutin Tesla (father, desceased), Djouka Mandi (mother, deceased), Dane (brother, deceased), Milka, Angelina & Marcia (sisters), Nikola Tesla (grandfather, deceased), Ana Kalini Tesla (grandmother, deceased), Nikola Mandic (grandfather, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: American Institute of Electrical Engineers.
  • Base Of Operations: New York
  • Height: 6’2”+ Weight: 142 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

A true genius, his numerous inventions caused significant changes to the world around him. Often more than society was prepared for, a number of his discoveries took time to be adopted. Some of Tesla’s reputed inventions are still beyond the levels of modern technology.

He would visualise an invention entirely in his brain before even setting it down on paper. Tesla also possessed a photographic memory, which allowed him to memorize many of the great works of his time.

Timothy Boone

15 year-old Timothy is Nikola’s assistant, both in the lab and in his crime-fighting (such as getting dressed up as a woman to attract muggers). He lost his right arm through unrevealed events, and Nikola made a prosthetic one for him. The hand appears to have a good degree of articulation, and there’s a lighter within the thumb.

Nikola Tesla's assistant Timothy


Mad science

After a number of his discoveries were pirated, Tesla became paranoid about allowing information on his inventions circulate until he’d finished working on them. Following his death in 1943, Tesla’s notes were seized by the Office of Alien Property and factions of the War Department. That was primarily to prevent them falling into enemy hands, and most of these are still classified.

Their main fear was for the alleged prototype of his infamous Death Ray. But there are plenty of other ideas of his which are only just coming into use, or which have may still seem the stuff of science fiction.

His main obsession during his life was the wireless transmission of both information and power around the world, and to other planets, to light up the shipping lanes, and to control the weather. The energy could be transmitted directly to buildings or vehicles, cutting down on cabling, energy and pollution.

Death Ray

The Death Ray was a particle beam weapon which, in Tesla’s ultimate vision, would have been a 220-foot-long circular vacuum chamber mounted on a hundred foot high domed citadel.

This contraption would “send concentrated beams of particles through the free air, of such tremendous energy that they will bring down a fleet of 10,000 enemy airplanes at a distance of 250 miles from a defending nation’s border and will cause armies of millions to drop dead in their tracks.”

Electrical vehicles

In 1987, the New York Times and Newsweek reported that the US Military were experimenting with large glider planes. These were “powered without fuel” by microwave emitters directed at them from the ground.

There was a report in 1931 that Tesla had been seen working on a prototype electric car. It was powered by energy emitted from a distant station.

Cosmic rays

Claims that his work in the Wardenclyffe tower were responsible for the Tunguska incident, an energy release 2000 times that of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, are completely unsubstantiated.

Nikola Tesla's labs in Five Fists of Science

He claimed to be able to harness the energy of Cosmic Rays, an inexhaustible supply of free energy produced by stars.

Global demolition

Tesla calculated, from knowing the Earth’s dimensions, and that it was in a constant state of expansion and contraction. If he were to explode a ton of dynamite at the exact moment it begins to contract, it would accelerate the contraction. Exactly one hour and 49 minutes later an equally accelerated wave of expansion would occur.

If he were then to explode another ton of dynamite as the expansion ebbed, and continued doing so at the same intervals, within a few weeks the Earth’s crust would be in “such a state of vibration that it would rise and fall hundreds of feet, throwing rivers out of their beds, wrecking buildings, and practically destroying civilization.”

If continued for over a year, the process could split the Earth in two.

The Philadelphia experiment

His notes were seized the same year that the Philadelphia Experiment  took place. Since no Unified Field theory was known to exist and he claimed to have found the calculations, his name is often tied by conspiracy theorists to the experiment. The idea is that the government seized his notes and immediately implemented as many of the theories as they could (being in WWII at the time).

So the Philadelphia Experiment was an attempt at apply some of his theories and create an invisible ship.

Photographing thoughts

In 1933, Dr. Tesla theorized about a thought camera, a device that could photograph thoughts.

“I expect to photograph thoughts… In 1893, while engaged in certain investigations, I became convinced that a definite image formed in thought, must by reflex action, produce a corresponding image on the retina, which might be read by a suitable apparatus. This brought me to my system of television which I announced at that time…”

Others

Other claimed inventions include:

  • An electric submarine.
  • A Mechanical Oscillator, able to compress air until it becomes liquid.
  • Methods of extracting energy from natural, renewable sources.
  • A pocket-sized earthquake machine, which could shake a house apart with building waves of energy.>/li>
  • A magnetic force field dome made of energy which would eventually be built big enough to protect a city from attack during wars.
  • An electric anti-gravity aircraft.

Further inventions can be found on wikipedia.


History (real world)

Nikola Tesla was born in the Serbian village of Smiljan, near Gospic, in what was then the Austrian Empire. His birth occured on June the 28th (NS 10th July) 1856, allegedly at precisely midnight during an electrical storm.

His brother Dane, the favoured child of the family and a prodigy in his own right, died in a riding accident when Nikola was five. Greatly affecting the family, it left Nikola feeling he would never match up, and could never receive as much affection from his mother.

Man of Tomorrow

Excelling academically, he studied electrical engineering at the Austrian Polytechnic  in Graz. In December 1878 he left Graz for employment in Slovenia as an assistant engineer for a year, but suffered a nervous breakdown during this time.

He then attended Charles-Ferdinand University  in Prague at the prompting of his father, where he was influenced by Ernst Mach . He completed one term, but left following his father’s death.

His life would often be interrupted by illness, including periods where he saw blinding flashes of light accompanied by hallucinations. On a number of occasions the visions would be triggered by a word, forcing him to involuntarily envision the named item in precise detail. He also suffered flashbacks to his youth.

Moving to Budapest in 1881 he was employed by the National Telephone Company. On the opening of the telephone exchange in the same year became their chief electrician. During this time he developed what some claim was a telephone repeater or amplifier, but which according to other may have been the first loudspeaker.

In 1882 he moved to Paris to work as an engineer for the Continental Edison Company, designing improvements to electric equipment for them. In the meanwhile he devoted his own time to his own inventions, such as the induction motor.

Coming to America

Arriving in the US on June 6th, 1884, Tesla went to work for Edison’s American company, Edison Machine Works. He soon progressed to handling the company’s most difficult problems. Tesla accomplished great advances on behalf of the company and generated several profitable patents.

However, Edison had no interest in hearing about Tesla’s groundbreaking AC polyphase designs, which he believed far too dangerous. There are also claims Edison promised him a significant bonus on completion of some of his work but reneged on the promise. When Tesla was refused a raise from $18 to $25 a week – in 1885 – he resigned.

This could have added to the later adversarial relationship between Tesla and Edison as each championed a different method of electric power distribution. Still, much of the animosity was the creation of the press at the time. After Tesla’s laboratory burned down in 1895 he was allowed the use of some of Edison’s labs for his work before he got his new place set up, so the two weren’t hostile.

He dug ditches for a while – coincidentally for the Edison company – while focusing his scientific mind on his AC polyphase system. In 1886 he founded his own company – Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing. Unfortunately his investors had no more faith in his alternating current motor than had Edison, and he lost control of the company.

Tesla returned to common labour from 1886 to 1887 as he fed himself and raised capital for his next project.

The Tesla AC motor

In 1887 he established another small company, began investigations of what would later be called x-rays. Furthermore, he constructed the initial brushless alternating current induction motor which he demonstrated to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1888. He soon gained a profitable patent on the technology.

He wasn’t the only person working on AC technology, and a number of others refused to see the advantage of his method. The field was competitive at this point, with a number of inventors vying for the profitable patents to be gained from the technology. A lot of challenges arose to patents to prove who had primacy (or who’d pirated the technology) in lengthy court cases.

There were a number of frauds who built fake machines with which to bilk unwary investors. Tesla was occasionally lumped in with these due to the outrageousness of some of his claims, despite his ability to back them up. His company eventually gained contracts with Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company when George Westinghouse proved receptive to his ideas for AC technology.

Tesla became a naturalized US citizen on July 30th, 1891. He and soon established a laboratory at 35 South Fifth Avenue. He later set up another laboratory at 46 E. Houston Street where.

While conducting experiments on mechanical resonance with electro-mechanical oscillators, he generated a resonance in the building that resulted in numerous calls to the police. He’d been distracted as it had started, but when he realised the effect he took a sledge hammer to the experiment, just as the police arrived.

The Man who Invented the 20th Century

Nikola gave lectures at prestigious venues in London and Paris in early 1892. He demonstrated previously unseen work such as a type of button lamp which projected a laser capable of disintegrating even diamonds. He spent time with local luminaries of the regions discussing their work, which often ignited further ideas in his mind.

While in Paris he received word his mother was dying. He rushed to her side, arriving hours before her death. He fell ill shortly thereafter, and spent weeks recuperating while visiting his family.

Returning to America he found his prestigious European lectures had increased his standing, making him more respectable and turning him into a celebrity.

Wirelessly lighting vacuum tubes at both New York laboratories he proved the potential of wireless power transmission. Furthermore, he was soon granted his first patents concerning polyphase power systems.

He served as vice president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers from 1892 to 1894. Meanwhile he continued to work on a number of projects, including investigating the harvesting of the energy present throughout space, and building the first radio transmitter which he demonstrated in 1893.

Electrical current wars

It was at the 1893 World’s Fair that Tesla and Westinghouse introduced visitors to AC power, thereby escalating the “War of the currents”. By 1897 Edison and Westinghouse were both nearly bankrupted by this War. Tesla released Westinghouse from their contract, providing him a break from patent royalties.

In 1897 he also worked on radiation research which would set up the basic formulation for cosmic rays.

Nikola Tesla's electric presences in Five Fists of Science

Nikola suffered piracy of his work. One of the worst culprits in his eyes was Guglielmo Marconi . Marconi claimed Tesla’s wireless experiments couldn’t work, and the use of the Tesla Coil in the device was a mistake. Marconi used the standard ideas in his earlier experimentation but only began to achieve success when he began using the Tesla Coil.

Due to not fully understanding it he believed he’d found a different way to use it than Tesla. Marconi was convinced he was the sole creator of his new way, even though he was actually using it in the same way. Furthermore, his continuing to use Hertzian wave was still inferior to Tesla’s method.

Nevertheless, Marconi got the press and would later achieve the first public demonstration, as Tesla was focussed on achieving a larger scale version of his work before going public.

In 1898 Tesla demonstrated radio controlled boats and torpedoes to the public. He called the boat a teleautomaton, “the first of a race of robots – mechanical men which would do the laborious work of the human race”.

He tried selling them to the Navy as a means of greatly increasing their superiority, but the idea was viewed as too outlandish for them to consider. They considered it a decade later when Marconi suggested it, though.


History (Five Fists of Science fiction)

Tesla began dressing up in a costume to fight crime as a way to test his inventions. He had his lab assistant, Timothy Boone, nearby for support (and bait for muggers). Building a giant automaton he found the military uninterested in purchasing it.

His friend Mark Twain  – returning to the US after witnessing the ineffectual armistice talks – convinced him the automaton could be used to end war. It could sure all world powers had one so none would dare to move against the other.

The Baroness Sophie Felicitas Freifrau von Suttner  joined them as a financial backer. They presented the device to a gathering of heads of state, none of whom were interested.

Undaunted, the group used Nikola’s electricity double generator to create a diabolical giant energy monster to terrorize New York City. This allowed Nikola to appear in his automaton and defeat it. They performed a few such displays, generating interest in the automaton – including some from an unwanted source.

Dark forces

A cabal comprising of John Pierpont Morgan , Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi and Andrew Carnegie  took interest in the events. It was based on suspicions Tesla and Twain had used black magic to summon the diabolical threat.

They had their own pact with dark forces – soon to culminate in the completion of their Innsmouth Tower – which had already threaded enormous, odd-looking, roots throughout New York. Fearing Tesla’s group could complicate their plans they decided to deal with them.

Marconi had never had much interest in the black magic side of the group. Furthermore, he wasn’t happy about the human sacrifice rituals they performed at the tower. Learning his colleagues planned to kill him when he’d served his purpose, he warned Tesla the cabal were planning to steal his invention.

Marconi didn’t think to warn them the cabal owned the military officer they’d signed a contract for the automaton with until it was too late.

Edisonade

Tesla and Twain were forced to attend a meeting with the cabal. When Morgan realised they had no knowledge of black magic, and were thus unprotected, the cabal took them prisoner.

Edison locked the unconscious Tesla in a cage in his menagerie, near his captive Yeti. Tesla was more affected by the sheer amount of hair than the creature’s claws and teeth, but it had little interest in him, and when Marconi arrived to help Tesla the creature broke out to chase its tormentor, Edison.

Nikola Tesla's giant automaton in Five Fists of Science

Tesla and Marconi found Twain on the run from the creature Morgan had transformed into as the Tower activated. Designed to tune in to the infernal frequencies, the roots around the city were pods which spewed out Root Babies. These infernal abominations attacked all in their path as they made for the Tower.

While they’d been captives, Baroness von Stuttner and Timothy had reclaimed the automaton and piloted it to the Tower, now obviously the source of the trouble. Timothy prepared its main gun to fire on the apparently physical manifestation of the Leviathan contacted by the Tower.

Realising they should be targeting the antenna instead, Tesla dispatched Marconi to signal them. Meanwhile, he and Twain battled through the hordes of Root Babies converging on the Tower.

The destruction of the Tower and saving of the city was denounced by the press as an obvious fraud. Tesla and Twain were bankrupted by the cost of the lawsuits against them. They were then banned from New York.

Tower of Dreams

Tesla focussed most of his energies on his plans for the worldwide transmission of information and power. He soon entered into an agreement with JP Morgan, who would be the main backer and silent partner in the venture.

He began construction of his Wardenclyffe facility, a 187 foot tall broadcasting tower with a vast underground construction reaching down 120 feet. In this way, signals could use both air and ground as their medium. He continually revised his plans to make it bigger and better. This annoyed Morgan who felt their contract had been breached, and rebuffed requests for additional capital.

Their relationship worsened when Tesla espoused his theories that the tower would ultimately allow him to wirelessly transmit free energy around the world. Morgan, whose empire was founded on energy industries, saw it as a threat to his livelihood.

Thus, he worked against it both intentionally (discouraging other backers Tesla approached) and unintentionally (his actions caused significant economic turbulence in America in 1907, halting work on the tower).

Tesla shared the common belief of the day that there existed intelligent life on neighbouring planets. He even believed he’d intercepted signals from them. Only later in life did he realise he’d probably picked up signals from others experimenting with wireless technology, and worse, it had probably been bloody Marconi.

The tower falls

Financial troubles forced him to abandon the tower, although he planned to return to it someday. When his hotel debts grew too high though, he had give them the deeds to the tower as what he believed to be security. However, they legally deemed as paying off his debts.

He fought it, but his tower was eventually gutted by the hotel and vandals. It was then destroyed during the First World War by the government, who feared German agents could use such towers to signal home. Nikola’s great dream collapsed with the tower.


Legacy (real-world history resumes)

He continued inventing for the remainder of his life. While money continued to come in from his patents, it went out as fast.

In his last years he only kept a roof over his head because friends and family convinced the Westinghouse company to take him on as a consultant. They gave him a pension and paid for his hotel. The latter was done without him ever seeing the money, due to his aversion to paying hotel bills.

Giant electric ghost over the city

One of his most notorious later inventions was the Death Ray, a particle beam weapon of which he supposedly had a small working copy. He gave it to his current hotel as security against his debts, with a warning the box containing it should never be opened. Whether it actually contained the weapon or was just his idea of a joke is unknown.

A number of his contemporaries felt animosity towards Nikola, either from jealousy or personal slights, real or imagined. Some among them who taught or wrote edited him out of the history of electrical engineering. This, along with his seemingly wild ideas, led him to be viewed as just an eccentric.

Death

He died on 8th January 1943. His papers and the alleged prototype Death Ray were seized by the Office of Alien Property and elements of the War Department. Some have never been released.

His legacy is apparent everywhere in the modern world, with the majority of electrical devices directly descended from his ideas. Wireless communications, remote control, radar, the internet, computers, VTOL aircraft, robotics, and mobile phones are only a few devices the modern world might not have without him, and a number of his ideas have yet to be fully realised.


Description

Standing at over six foot two in height, Nikola exercised firm self-discipline in maintaining his weight at 142 lbs at all times. Generally dressed in suits, always in the latest fashions, his fastidiousness and mania for hygiene meant he would always appear immaculate.

When out fighting street crime, he wore a heavy coat, a top hat, a large scarf covering the bottom half of his face, and a pair of tinted glasses covering his eyes.


Personality

Tesla was primarily motivated by his passion for invention and his fascination with electricity. Most of his energy went into his work. Soft-spoken, he could come across as ambivalent about other subjects. He tended to alienate himself from society, rarely engaging in any kind of a private life.

Extremely disciplined, he often exercised great self-control, simply for its own sake, as part of his regular routine. When focussed on a project, he would regularly work for days on end without sleep (which he usually only had a couple of hours of a night, anyway). He often worked himself to exhaustion or illness.

He saw his work as being directed towards the betterment of society, and was greatly opposed to wars. He sought to reduce distances between, such as by communication, or the transmission of energy, as a means to ensure friendly international relations.

He believed that his work would allow machines to develop to the points where they could carry out the menial tasks, freeing humans to more intellectual pursuits. As the technologies advanced at a faster pace, so too would mankind’s cultural evolution.

Other traits

While he bore grudges against those who pirated his inventions, those who forcefully claimed him a pirate or a fraud, or just those who associated with any of these, he would usually be civil to them when forced to socialize with them.

Despite his general reclusiveness, he did exhibit a taste for showmanship when sharing his passion for invention with others. He demonstrated his innovations to the public as a kind of art form, almost like a magician. He refused to hold conventions without his Tesla coil blasting electricity throughout the room, even though it often terrified his audiences.

He had a complicated relationship with money. Tesla enjoyed making it from the sale of his inventions, viewing it as an acknowledgement of his abilities, which allowed him to live in the lavish style he believed he deserved. He often viewed himself as an aristocrat. He would make sure he was always dressed in the best fashions, and since the mid 1890s lived in the most expensive hotels.

Nikola Tesla's automaton vs. the giant electric ghost

He rarely kept much money though. Tesla often let debts run up that he could have paid off but wanted the money for his work. He regularly ran up years worth of back rent in the hotels he stayed at, seeming to have a particular aversion to paying their bills. He saw his work as being more important than any amount of money, as he was building a better world for the future.

His main flaw was that he believed that others, especially his backers, saw things the same way, indeed that that was why they were backing him. This caused numerous conflicts and disappointments for him, as his investors always did what was best for their bank balances, leaving him bewildered and often feeling betrayed.

Obsessive-compulsive

Nikola may have suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and certainly had a number of quirks.

  • He preferred to do things in threes, and would only stay in hotel rooms whose number was divisible by three.
  • He was physically revolted by earrings and pearls.
  • He disliked touching round objects or human hair other than his own.
  • He disliked fat people.
  • He was fastidious about cleanliness and hygiene, and disliked dirt.
  • He had to calculate the cubic volume of food before he could eat it.

Quotes

“Long ago I conceived the idea of constructing an automaton which would mechanically represent me, and which would respond, as I do myself, but of course, in a much more primitive manner to external influences. Such an automaton evidently had to have motive power, organs for locomotion, directive organs and one or more sensitive organs so adapted as to be excited by external stimuli. Whether the automaton be of flesh and bone, or of wood and steel, it mattered little, provided it could provide all the duties required of it like an intelligent being.”

“May the eternal spirit of the great dynamo protect me, as I faithfully execute its holy work.”

“Sometimes ideas intrigue me so much that I make them without thinking, ’what is this for ?‘ This was one of them. A mistake.”

“Osmotic gyrostabilizers are go. To my surprise.”

“You just breathed on me. And I think I smelled your hair. I don’t like hair.”

(On being confronted with the Yeti) “Hair. My god, the hair.”


DC Universe History

Some stories have it that Tesla was actually a Venusian, delivered to Earth to be raised by human parents. As an alien he could have a longer lifespan than humans, so could still be alive in the modern DCU, possibly under another name.

Alternatively he could have discovered side effects of his work which allow him to constantly renew his body, giving him a low level of Regeneration and a greatly extended life-span. Tesla experimented with the use of electricity for medical purposes, and regularly had electricity baths to repel foreign objects on his body and reinvigorate him.

Seeing the horror science caused at the end of the second world war left him devastated. Tesla believed that the world he was trying to build was no longer possible. Faking his death, he became a recluse, continuing to invent (as he’s just unable to stop himself), but using fake identities to sell enough of his ideas to keep himself financed.

Alternatively, his death may have been faked with the help of the government. If so would later become Chief of Operations of the Montauk Project  for them.

Other paths

He occasionally passed stray ideas anonymously on to other scientists to follow up, such as his designs for a device to contact neighbouring planets. The scientist he gave them to, Dr. Saul Erdel, assembled them incorrectly, pulling J’onn J’onzz from his home.

He continues to live as a hermit, but rumours of his survival continue, and if someone really needed his help, and if they could find him, he could possibly be convinced to come out of “retirement”.

Or he could have already been ’convinced‘ to come out of retirement by a super-villain. They may have him either as a forced underling, or an unwitting dupe, equipping the bad guy with technology that’s beyond what he’d normally have access to.

Of course a number of his ideas would still be hidden within the vaults of the Office of Alien Property. Yes, it’s a real department, and you just know there area of interest would be a lot wider in a world with known extra-terrestrial aliens. Any enterprising super-villain could steal them there.


LoEG History

He could easily fit into the world of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, encountering members of the group while they’re on mission in the US.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Nikola Tesla

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 14 Wil: 09 Min: 07 Occupation: Scientist
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 023 HP: 050

Powers:
Recall: 06

Skills:
Artist (Showmanship): 06, Charisma (Persuasion): 05, Gadgetry: 15, Scientist: 15, Vehicles (Automaton): 05, Weaponry (Exotic, Firearms): 05

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Genius, Expansive Headquarters, Expertise (Billiards, Mathematics), Languages (Czeck, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Serbo-Croatian), Scholar (Electrical Engineering), Sidekick (Timothy Boone).

Connections:
Mark Twain (High), Baroness Sophie Felicitas Freifrau von Suttner (High), New York Society (Low), Scientific Community (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA (Stay in rooms whose number is divisible by 3), MIA (Calculate the cubic volume of food before eating it), MIA (cleanliness and hygiene), MIF (Earrings and pearls), MIF (Paying hotel bills), MIF (touching round objects), MIF (touching human hair other than his own), MID (fat people), MPI (Spontaneous Hallucinatory Visions).

Equipment:

  • Guns (x2) [BODY 04, Jumping (falling only): 03, Lightning: 05]. These weapons fired streams of electrical energy, able to stun most human targets. The gun’s osmotic integrators also allowed him to fall three stories without harm.
  • Tesla-Tronic Dynamo. This giant automaton, named by Twain, mirrors the actions of its pilot, who stands in the cockpit within its head. Osmotic Stabilizers prevent the automaton from hitting the ground if knocked over, halting its descent halfway. The Automaton itself is basically just a transport device and tripod for the big gun, which, still a prototype, drains all the machine’s energy.
    [BODY 14, STR 14, Energy Blast (Automaton immobile after use): 15, Flight (Only stops the Automaton falling to the ground): 00, Growth (Always On and Already Factored In): 11, Hardened Defenses]
  • Electricity Monster Generator. This device would create a projection of the user body out of electrical energy. The projection could be increased in size up to at least eighty feet, and the shape could be altered by the user wearing a suit of the approximate form desired.
    [BODY 05, Enlarge (can only affect the Lightning Animation): 11, Lightning Animation (as Flame Animation): 08]

Timothy Boone

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Lab Assistant
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 010 HP: 010

Skills:
Gadgetry: 05, Scientist: 05, Weaponry (Heavy): 04

Advantages:
Expertise (Electrical Engineering).

Connections:
Nikola Tesla (High).

Drawbacks:
SPR (Missing right arm).

Equipment:
Prosthetic Arm [BODY 04, EV 03, Flame Project: 00].


The Real Nikola Tesla

A lot of the above stats reflect his appearance in the source GN. To use a more historically accurate version, his DEX and STR should be reduced to 2 APs each (he regularly worked for days at a time so I’d leave his BODY as it is).

Furthermore, the real world Tesla doesn’t have the Vehicles and Weaponry Skills, Sidekick, Connection to Baroness Suttner (who in the GN is significantly altered from the original), or the listed equipment.


Design Notes

Most of the changes have been made as discussed, and, in addition, the Mental stats have been raised to be more in line with other super-science types, Artist (Showmanship) has been added, since he apparently gave memorable performances when displaying his inventions to the public.

Gadgetry has been raised to the same level as Scientist, since it’s financial costs or the technology of the time that most stopped him building some inventions.

And thanks Adam for the recommendation of The Prestige. Very enjoyable, although reading Tesla’s biography I did find the writing of him slightly off.


By Gareth Lewis

Source of Character: Five Fists of Science GN by Matt Fraction and Steven Sanders, and Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla by Marc J. Seifer

Helper(s): Wikipedia, Adam Fuqua

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