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Paris of Stormwatch PHD (Wildstorm Comics)

Paris

(Liam Mendoza)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This writeups contains S P O I L E R S about the StormWatch PHD limited series, which I though was pretty good.

Background

  • Real Name: Liam Mendoza
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed father (presumably deceased), unnamed mother
  • Group Affiliation: StormWatch PHD — NYC ; former member of StormForce
  • Base Of Operations: Eighteenth Precinct house, NYC
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 215 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Paris is a highly accomplished special forces commando, with a level of training and dedication even above those extremely high standards. His martial arts and close combat training regimen is particularly gruelling, and his level of fitness is close to being peak human.

He’s also a gifted instructor in close combat, concentrating on teaching combat-worthy moves.

Since his childhood, Paris developed an instinct allowing him to sense how to hurt or kill people. His deductive abilities in this specific field are uncanny – for instance he guessed that destroying Deathtrap’s weapons while they were under full telekinetic control (a previously undocumented ability of Deathtrap) would result in psychic feedback.

Another example is that, within seconds of encountering a mutant alien horror, he knew where its heart was and waited for it to open its mouth, since he knew his 9mm pistol would not penetrate its skin – once the beast opened its maw Paris put three rounds into the heart via the throat (in DC Heroes terms, he used his Weakness Detection on the OV of the creature, which was considerably lower than it’s RV, and leveraged this with a Devastating Attack).

He also somehow determined that the Ferryman should be deprived of his staff to be fought on more equal terms.

Paris (Liam Mendoza) loads guns during an emergency

Paris often works in close combat with a knife or even his hands – he knows he has a better EV this way. He seems proficient with a vast arsenal of blades, melee weapons, small arms, and other means of military and martial destruction, though – it’s just they’re often not very useful against his opponents.

Although Paris’s Scientist Skill is chiefly used to find weak points in people, aliens, demons and the like, he once used it to find the weak point in heavy rubbles so Fahrenheit could blast the team free of a collapsed building.


History

Mendoza was born in the middle of nowhere, near the California border. His mother was a waitress and his father a criminal – chiefly a meth pusher. He also organised dog-fighting competitions, and by the time Liam was four he was taking care of the numerous fighting dogs.

Around this time his mother either left or was killed by his father. Eventually the dogs were confiscated by animal services the morning before a big fight was due ; this put Mendoza’s father in a very awkward position.

Child gladiator

In order to have something to organise, he bet that his son could take a customer’s son – but the other kid was significantly bigger and older than Liam.

Mendoza, then aged five, got severely beaten and knew he was about to die ; he instinctively struck at a weak spot of his opponent and disabled him, nearly killing him. This was very popular, and allowed his father to launch a whole new circuit with Liam fighting other customers’s kids, or kids procured in the area in exchange for money or drugs.

Those were usually bigger than Liam, but he developed an uncanny instinct for fighting. However, eventually another bout fell flat since Mendoza’s opponent was a no-show. Improvising yet again, his father put him in the ring with one of the fighting dogs.

That, predictably, proved a poor idea – the dogs loved Liam, who was their only friend, and just wanted to play with him. Drugged to the gills, his father had a customer restrain his son, grabbed a pump gun and shot the dog dead.

He then turned to shoot his son, but the nimble kid dodged and the elder Mendoza hit the customer restraining Liam instead. In the confusion, Liam ran to the dogs’ cages and sicced them on the men. Apparently, the spectators and his father were killed or severely wounded by the dogs, and Liam was finally alone with his only friends.

In the service

From there, Mendoza kept making money by fighting, chiefly on underground bare-knuckles circuits – though often pitted against opponents even bigger and stronger than himself since he was still a teenager, he never lost. He eventually got arrested, and given a choice between the Army and jail.

Once he joined the military, he was soon transferred into the special forces. This is where he chose the call sign Paris – and became a legend within the SOCOM troops. Eventually, he was transferred, along with a number of exceptional soldiers, into StormForce — a non-superhuman unit of StormWatch.

The mythological Paris was the son of Priam and thus King of Troy; he’s the one who eloped with Helen and started the trouble. One of his greatest feat was killing the invulnerable Achilles with an arrow right in the famous heel.

Stormforce

Despite the skills of its members, the StormForce experiment never was very successful. Still, even in this environment, Paris managed to shine.

At one point, his unit (a smaller StormForce unit stationed in New York, presumably to stiffen the forces protecting the UN Building) was deployed to assist the main StormWatch unit in a clash with superhumans, and he and his comrades tried to apprehend the famous superhuman mercenary Deathtrap.

The StormForce soldiers were slaughtered but Paris, the last survivor, managed to nearly knock Deathtrap out and force him to retreat by spotting a weak point in his powers.

Stormwatch PHD

This definitely caught the attention of Jackson King when he reviewed his files to create StormWatch PHD some months later. Mendoza was recruited into the PHD just as the StormForce unit was downsized due to budget cuts, and replaced with Spartan robots.

The StormWatch PHD experiment was generally successful ; in particular the team survived some very poor odds on several occasions.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Paris has next to no social skills (that he prefers to go by his call sign rather than his name is telling), but he’s fully aware of that. Thus he simply chooses not to socialise or fraternise – besides, he prefers to keep training anyway.

Most of his interactions with others are done in a succinct, extremely military-like aspect, as if he were writing a brief operation report coldly stating facts, as per the first quote above. Of course he keeps his body in top shape – no cigarettes, no alcohol, no meat, no processed food, etc.

Lauren throwing herself at him (due to her own neuroses, ironically) shook him off this fairly comfortable situation and he lacks the experience or the instincts to handle this properly. After he made the mistake of speaking his mind (though being able to tell someone about his childhood was a relief), he largely retreated back into his usual discipline.

Given his past and his job, he finds that staying 100% disciplined and uncaring, suppressing his humanity, is his best way to stay sane and not let the death and the horror get to him.

Most of his ’relationships’ with others are actually with animals — his place in the desert near Vegas has a large number of rescued animals from roadside zoos, canned hunts, abandoned exotic pets and the like. He has excellent rapport with all those animals, having grown up caring for fighting dogs, and his sort of weird zoo in the middle of nowhere is very important to him.

Most of his pay (which is considerable given the hazardous duty bonuses) goes into maintaining it and having some staff works the place when he cannot, thus explaining his mediocre Wealth score. He slept in the locker room of the StormWatch PHD base, since he preferred to save his money for his Nevada animal rescue operation rather than spend it on New York City rents.

Paris is not a posthuman, but he’s very good at what he does and utterly dedicated to his job, which is taking out people and things who are way more powerful than he is.


Quotes

(Reporting in a mechanical tone) “StormForce New York was mobilized at 0715 hours and dispatched to support StormWatch Prime in a post-human conflict. We responded to the scene and observed that StormWatch operative Blademaster had been fatally wounded by the international terrorist Deathtrap. We engaged Deathtrap, whose sword remained lodged in Blademaster’s body. Though unarmed, he used his post-human abilities to materialize new weapons and return fire. Agents Lubbock and Patel were killed.”

“Just an instinct. I’ve always had good instincts when it comes to killing people. That’s why you guys pulled me out of special forces.”

“Bulletproof skin doesn’t help much when your brain slams against the inside of your skull.”

“You are training to combat beings that are so far above you, they view you as a child. A pet. Or a piece of meat.”

“Boss, with what I’ve done… with what I do… If I start letting stuff get to me… *that’s* when you wanna lock me up.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Paris

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Soldier
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Soldier
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 019 HP: 025

Powers:
Weakness detection: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Weakness detection is a Skilled Power

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Animal handling: 03, Charisma (Intimidation): 05, Martial artist*: 06, Medicine (first aid): 03, Military science (camouflage, cartography, danger recognition, demolition, field command): 05, Scientist (Analysis): 07, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles (sea, land): 04, Weaponry*: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Scientist (Analysis) is only useable to come up with ways to hurt or kill people, or destroy things

Advantages:
Credentials (StormWatch, Low), Expertise (close combat instruction, military equipment and protocols), Iron Nerves, Schtick (Double-tapping, called shots (Weaponry (Firearms) – handguns, Martial Artist, Weaponry (Melee) – knives)

Connections:
StormWatch PHD (High), Street (Low)

Drawbacks:
Socially Inept

Equipment:

  • Beretta 92 [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 15] and two extra clips
  • Big Combat Knife [BODY 09, EV 03 (05 w/STR, 07 w/Martial Artist), Sharpness (EV): 01]

Design Notes

This writeup assumes the use of DCH 3rd edition Martial Artist (which we do not usually do).


By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: StormWatch PHD (2007)

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