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Geordi LaForge (Levar Burton in Star Trek)

Geordi LaForge


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

Context

Star Trek: The Next Generation was a science fiction TV series that ran from 1987 to 1994. As can be imagined it is set decades after the original Star Trek series, but takes place in the same universe.

Played by Levar Burton, Mr. LaForge is the Chief Engineer of the new Enterprise spaceship.


Background

  • Real Name: Geordi La Forge
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Edward M. La Forge, Ph.D. (father), Captain Silva La Forge (mother, deceased), Ariana La Forge (sister)
  • Group Affiliation: Starfleet, United Federation of Planets
  • Base Of Operations: Currently U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-E
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 140 Age: 43 as of ST: Nemesis
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Geordi La Forge served with Starfleet for several years in a variety of postings including helmsman and engineering assistant. He then became chief engineer on the Enterprises -D and -E. During his time as chief engineer Geordi took the initiative to implement various design changes based on his own experience.

As part of his leaning toward applied science, La Forge has become highly competent at building models. This ranges from constructing detailed models of historical sailing ships by hand to programming detailed scenarios on the holodeck.

La Forge had a nomadic childhood due to his parents’ activities with Starfleet, which gave him the opportunity to learn quite a few languages.

Other traits

In his spare time, La Forge practices a variety of artistic activities. These include acting in shipboard musicals, playing string instruments such as the mandolin and guitar, and writing. In one possible future, Geordi became a renowned novelist after retiring from Starfleet.

He stays in shape with activities such as swimming and fencing, the latter of which he’s practiced to the point of holding his own against highly skilled fencers.

Due to a birth defect that left him blind, Geordi has had prosthetics that gave him enhanced eyesight. The prosthetic he used for most of his life was a visor that provided vision across most of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The visor was replaced a few years ago with a pair of cybernetic eyes. They are not as versatile at energy detection as his visor was, but they are much more comfortable and unobtrusive.


History

Geordi La Forge was born in 2335. Due to a birth defect in his optical nerves, he was blind.

At the age of five, he received a set of neural implants that allowed him to wear to wear a VISOR (Visual Instrument Sensory Organ Replacement). The VISOR is an instrument designed to detect most of the electromagnetic spectrum (“Hero Worship”). The implant caused him intense headaches, to which he eventually grew accustomed (“The Naked Now”).

Both of Geordi’s parents were Starfleet officers, his mother in the Command branch and his father an exobiologist (“Interface”). Consequently he traveled a great deal as a child, which he considered a great adventure. He picked up a knack for learning languages (“Imaginary Friend”, “Aquiel”).

Geordi graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2357. His first assignment was piloting a shuttle on the Jovian Run (traveling between Jupiter and Saturn). It was during this time that La Forge met Captain Picard for the first time.

Geordi piloted the Captain’s shuttle during an inspection. When Picard made an off-hand remark about inefficiency in the shuttle’s engine, La Forge spent all night fixing it. Picard took notice of Ensign La Forge’s dedication and in 2364 requested that the now-Lieutenant (Junior Grade) La Forge join his crew (“The Next Phase”, “Chain of Command, Part II”).

Enterprising

La Forge transferred to the Enterprise-D and took the position of Flight Controller (“Encounter at Farpoint”). By 2365, La Forge was promoted to full Lieutenant and accepted the post of Chief Engineer (“The Child”). Geordi was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 2366.

While Geordi has enjoyed a good measure of professional success, his personal life has had a great many upsets. He’s suffered from neurological tampering in numerous occasions, including being temporarily transformed into a non-sentient Tarchannen (“Identity Crisis”), and being turned into a brainwashed assassin by the Romulans (“The Mind’s Eye”).

Furthermore, he was experimented upon by his friend Data when his android colleague was subverted by Lore (“Descent, Part II”).

On the positive side he has gotten to work with respected members of the Federation’s engineering community. He notably rescued legendary engineer Montgomery Scott from suspension in a transporter loop aboard the crashed U.S.S. Jenolan in 2369 (“Relics”).

These are the voyages

His love life was an ongoing series of disappointments, most notably with Leah Brahms. He developed an attachment to a holographic duplicate of Brahms that he worked with on the holodeck while trying to engineer a way to escape an ancient Menthar trap (“Booby Trap”).

When he finally met the real Brahms a year later, the two of them did not relate as easily as Geordi had hoped. La Forge’s overly familiar behavior was a little off-putting and Brahms was married (a computer glitch had left this information out of his records).

The situation worsened when Leah found out about the holographic duplicate before Geordi could explain it. They had a chance to talk things out and Leah realized that Geordi’s intentions had been good. The two of them eventually became close friends (“Galaxy’s Child”).

In 2370, Geordi suffered yet another personal loss when his mother’s ship, the U.S.S. Hera, disappeared and was presumed destroyed. Geordi ended up in contact with someone he believed to be his mother while exploring the U.S.S. Raman. But it turned out to be a group of aliens seeking help who used Silva La Forge’s image to communicate with Geordi (“Interface”).

Be still my heart

When the Enterprise-D fought a group of renegade Klingons in 2371, Geordi again suffered some of the worst indignities. At one point, Dr. Soran, who was working with the Klingons, captured him. Geordi was then tortured by having his heart stopped when he would not answer Soran’s questions.

(This sequence was dropped from the final version of the movie. But there are signs of it in Soran’s quip that Geordi wouldn’t talk because his heart wasn’t in it, as well as Crusher’s noting of minor cardiac damage when examining Geordi in the Enterprise’s sickbay.)

While Soran got no useful information out of Geordi, he took the opportunity to hide a transmitter in Geordi’s visor. When Geordi was sent back to the Enterprise as part of a prisoner exchange, the Klingons used the view from his visor to determine the Enterprise’s shield frequency and adjusted their weapons to match.

The virtually unshielded Enterprise took a terrible amount of punishment in the subsequent attack. The crew found a way to defeat the renegades, but the Enterprise was too badly damaged to be saved. The crew had to escape in the saucer section, which subsequently crash-landed (ST: Generations).

A new vision

Between 2371 and 2373, Geordi decided to have his visor replaced with a set of cybernetic eyes. This had been suggested before, but the artificial optics at that time were crude and the surgery often had complications (“Loud as a Whisper”). Presumably the cybernetic and medical technology involved had progressed over the intervening years.

Furthermore, it’s likely that Geordi had tired of the vulnerabilities attendant with the visor. He had been blinded on various occasions when others pulled the visor off (such as Armus in “Skin of Evil”). And though he had learned to tolerate the headaches, they were still a persistent annoyance.

Also, the neural implants that allowed the visor to work had also made him more easily exploitable by the Romulans and Data in the aforementioned experiments and by the renegade Klingons in their final attack on the Enterprise-D. The new cybernetic eyes would not be nearly as vulnerable to abuse, though their sensory abilities would be not be as great as those of the visor.

Chief engineer

When the Enterprise-E was commissioned in 2372, Geordi transferred aboard as Chief Engineer, nursing the vessel through a one-year shakedown cruise. A short time after the Enterprise-E was deemed ready for active duty, the ship served a vital role in repelling the second Borg invasion in 2373.

The Enterprise-E then had to travel back in time to 2061 to stop a Borg Timesphere from interfering with the formation of the Federation. This mission gave Geordi an opportunity to meet his childhood hero Zephram Cochrane and even take part in humanity’s first FTL flight (ST: First Contact).

La Forge continues to serve as chief engineer aboard the Enterprise-E. He has participated in the resolution of two major crises: exposure of illegal Federation/So’Na activities in the Briar Patch in 2375 and foiling Shinzon’s attack on Earth in 2378 (ST: Insurrection, ST: Nemesis).

In at least one alternate timeline, Geordi’s friendship with Leah Brahms blossomed later in life. The two of them were married and had three children by 2395 (“All Good Things…”).


Mirror Universe Geordi

(Taken from William Shatner’s Mirror Universe novel trilogy)

The Klingon-Cardassian Alliance had enslaved the Terran Empire long before La Forge’s birth. They recognized La Forge’s potential skill with engineering and put him to work as a weapons designer. When Emperor Tiberius emerged to plague the alliance again, he recruited Geordi as his Commandant of Weapons.

Tiberius replaced whatever technology had previously restored La Forge’s sight with Borg implants that covered his eye sockets. These dull gray metal mechanisms had holographic lenses that considerably expanded La Forge’s sensory abilities.

Neural transducer tendril extended from the implants, piercing La Forge’s cheeks and forehead and giving the apparatus the look of mechanical spiders perched upon La Forge’s face


Description

Geordi is a slim Black male with close-cropped black hair. He’s usually clean-shaven but sometimes has a small tightly trimmed beard. His artificial eyes have irises with light blue inlaid circuitry. Prior to having these implants installed, Geordi’s eyes were white with no irises.

Before Geordi had his artificial eyes, he wore a slim golden visor that attached to dataports on his temples.

Whether he is on-duty or not, Geordi tends to wear his duty uniform, usually with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows for ease of work.

Geordi has a very expressive face. When he smiles it can be charmingly contagious. Even when he was wearing his visor, it was obvious when he was rolling his eyes in annoyance.


Personality

La Forge was very excitable and enthusiastic when he first came aboard the Enterprise. He has become a much more composed individual over the last few years — he does not express himself as boisterously as he did before — but his enthusiasm remains strong despite some of the sobering events he has gone through.

When Geordi is dealing with an issue that strikes close to home (such as the discussion about aborting imperfect children in “The Masterpiece Society”), he can be very emphatic in making his points.

La Forge is also an honest man. He has admitted that he could use his enhanced vision to read his friend’s cards during the senior staff’s weekly poker games, but he refrains from “peeking” until the hand is over.

Though Geordi is very personable and makes friends easily, he has had rather poor luck with romantic relationships. His closest friendship on the Enterprise is with Data, though the two of them sometimes struggle when communicating with one another due to Geordi being very emotional and Data being practically emotionless.

Other traits

For most of his life, Geordi looked at his handicap and the visor that compensated for it as a mixed blessing. The extra sensory abilities of the visor were useful, but it also aggravated Geordi’s occasional feelings of alienation. Thus, he sometimes expressed the wish to see the world in the same manner as a “normal” person (“The Naked Now”).

At the same time, he did not wish to give up the visor for less obtrusive ocular implants until the technology had been refined.

Since then, Geordi has come to accept and appreciate his unique condition. When his optic nerves temporarily functioned due to the regenerative effects of the Ba’ku home world, he enjoyed the opportunity to see a sunrise as others did (ST: Insurrection).


Quotes

“Bridge, we have a new problem…”

“I’ll take a look and see if there’re any rules I haven’t broken.”

(Regarding Worf) “Smiling would break his concentration.”

Riva: “And you don’t resent it?”
La Forge: “The VISOR or being blind ? Since they are both part of me and I really like who I am, why should I resent them ?”

(Looking over a disabled Pakled spacecraft): “Don’t tell me; their rubber band broke.”

(After saving a Romulan foe)
Bochra: “You are my prisoner !”
La Forge: “What a strategic triumph for the Romulan Empire… Welcome to Galordon Core, where no good deed goes unpunished.”

Hugh: “You will be assimilated.”
Geordi: “Yes, but BEFORE that happens, we’d like to run some tests.”

(While his eyes were regenerated on Ba’Ku) “I’ve never seen a sunrise. Not the way you see it.”


DC Universe History

The Enterprise-E crew has encountered the Marvel Universe’s X-Men on two occasions.

The first encounter occurred when the Enterprise-E attempted to use the Borg temporal vortex to return home from 2063 (ST: First Contact). The Enterprise-E crew was accidentally shunted into the Marvel universe and helped the X-Men fight Kang the Conqueror (the MU villain, not the Klingon Commander) before returning home (Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men: Second).

Later, several X-Men traveled to the 24th Century and assisted the Enterprise-E crew in dealing with spontaneous mutations on a Federation-allied planet (“Planet X” novel).

The Enterprise crew could easily encounter residents of the DCU under similar circumstances, particularly if Hypertime is involved.

By himself

By himself, Geordi would fit in quite well as the resident researcher/engineer in any heroic group’s headquarters. This would resemble Fabian Stankowicz for the Avengers or Kilowog for the Giffen-Era JLA.

Given the numerous mishaps he suffered during the TV series, it is almost inevitable that Geordi would be caught up in some villain’s machinations, likely involving a romance subplot to boot. If he is used in such a way, he should get Genius to allow for constructing his own Gadgets, and his visor (and whatever other Star Trek equipment you wish to import) could be his own creation.

Of course, all the PCs will want some of those toys, too. GMs will want to be careful about this. One “in-game” control could be requiring all of Geordi’s toys to use a surgically implanted cybernetic interface similar to the one used for his visor.

These interfaces might even come with a Power Burn-Out representing debilitating pain — it took Geordi years to get used to the headaches that came from using his visor, after all — in addition to the Miscellaneous Drawback the interfaces inflict (see Previous Statistics).

Another drawback might be the amount of experience it takes to use a visor properly; when Geordi’s visor was modified to broadcast its view back to the Enterprise, it was difficult for anyone else to make sense of the collage of input (“Heart of Glory”).


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Lt. CmDr. Geordi La Forge

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 06 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Starship Chief Engineer, Starfleet
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 013 HP: 030

Powers:
Telescopic Vision: 03, Thermal Vision: 06, Ultra Vision: 06, Microscopic Vision: 10

Skills:
Artist (Actor, singing, string instruments, writing): 03, Artist (Holographic Simulations, Model Building)*: 04, Gadgetry: 09, Scientist*: 06, Vehicles (Space): 05, Weaponry (Firearms, Melee)*: 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Enterprise-D & E), Intensive Training, Languages (various, including Hahlian), Military Credentials (Medium, Rank: Lt. Cmdr.), Scholar (History of Federation engineers, starship engineering, subspace/warp dynamics)

Connections:
Enterprise-D & -E Crew (High), Dr. Leah Brahms (Low)

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated

Equipment:
See the Star Trek Personal Equipment write-up.


Previous statistics for Geordi

When Geordi first joined the Enterprise-D crew, he was not as self-confident and unflappable as he is now. His AURA and SPIRIT were only 04 APs.

Geordi’s AURA went up to 05 in his second year on the Enterprise-D concurrent with his promotion to full Lieutenant and his SPIRIT increased to 05 APs in the third year concurrent with his promotion to Lieutenant Commander. Until his promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 2366, La Forge’s Military Credentials were Low.

Prior to Star Trek: First Contact, Geordi had no Powers, an MPR (Blind, Minor due to his visor), and a Miscellaneous Drawback (-1CS to Geordi’s RV vs. Mental Attacks/Power directed through the neural interfaces on his temples. This usually requires a Gadget (see “The Mind’s Eye” and “Descent, Part II” for examples), -5 Points). He was also equipped with the following Gadget:

Visor [BODY 02, Detect (Exotic Energy): 05, Radar Sense: 03, Telescopic Vision: 04, Thermal Vision: 07, Ultra Vision: 07, Microscopic Vision: 10, Bonus: Thermal Vision and Ultra Vision extend to most of the lower and upper electromagnetic spectrum, respectively (+2 FC each), Drawback: Visor requires the user to have a neural interface implant in their temples (-10 points), Cost: 61+RS points]

Previous gear

Geordi had two experimental items that took advantage of his neural implants, though in both cases their usefulness was so limited that they were quickly retired. Those were :

  • VISUAL ACUITY TRANSMITTER [BODY 01, Radio Communication: 12, Bonus: transmits video instead of audio (+0 FC)]. This device could be attached to Geordi’s visor, allowing him to transmit the visor’s telemetry to the Enterprise. This turned out to be nothing more than a novelty since Geordi was the only person on board the Enterprise that could sort out the resultant chiaroscuro of visual information into anything coherent.
    During the Nexus incident, Dr. Soran developed a much smaller version of this device and hid it inside Geordi’s visor while holding La Forge captive. When Geordi was released to the Enterprise, Soran’s allies were able to receive the telemetry feed (conveniently reduced to the visual spectrum only), which allowed them to gather vital information about the Enterprise’s defenses. It may have been this incident that finally convinced Geordi to discard the visor in favor of cybernetic eyes.
  • INTERFACE PROBE [BODY 07, STR (Tractor Beam): 07, Flight: 03, Radio Communication (Audio/Visual): 15, Hardened Defenses. The interface probe also had a built-in Type-3 phaser (see the Star Trek Federation Weapons write-up) and its sensors had the same sensory capabilities as Geordi’s visor]
    INTERFACE RIG [BODY 04, Interface: 09, Radio Communication: 15, Bonus: Interface can use RC’s range (+2FC); Limitations: Interface only works on Gadgets designed for remote control (-2FC); Drawback: Interface Rig can only be used by characters with neural implants -10 pts.]
    This experimental sensor probe was designed to be remote controlled by a virtual reality interface fed to the pilot through neural implants. Consequently, Geordi was the only crew member on the Enterprise who could control the probe.
    Geordi used it while exploring the U.S.S. Raman and discovered a serious disadvantage to the neural link. Damage to the probe caused neural feedback, resulting in psychosomatic damage to the user. After this incident the probe was retired from service. The only advantage the interface probe offered over standard probes was the ability to do “on-site” inspections from a safe distance.
    That benefit was outweighed by the necessity of having neural implants to use the rig and the subsequent neural feedback problem.

Mirror Universe Geordi

Weapons Master La Forge has the following adjusted statistics: DEX 04 with Linked Martial Artist and Weapons, drop all Artist Skills, drop all Advantages and Connections, and add Scholar (Weapons design) and a Low Connection to Emperor Tiberius.

His Borg implants had the same abilities as the original La Forge’s visor except that they do not have the neural interface Drawback and cannot be Taken Away.

La Forge’s equipment includes a full-body set of jet-black CARDASSIAN BATTLE ARMOR [/BODY/: 08, Sealed Systems: 12, Limitation: Sealed Systems does not protect against radiation (-1FC)], two Disruptor Pistols [BODY: 05, Energy Blast: 07], and a tricorder (see the Star Trek Federation Equipment write-up).


Design Notes

Resources is not applicable because Starfleet provides anything that their personnel may reasonably need.


By John Walchie, Roy Cowan & Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV series), character played by LeVar Burton

Helper(s): John Colagioia, Nick Yankovec

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