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Vartox


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

Context

Though he appeared in 1974, Vartox is more of a late Silver Age  character. He’s an ally but sometimes rival or opponent of the pre-Crisis Superman.

Vartox has an endless array of incredible powers, perhaps mightier than even Superman’s, and serves as a galactic protector.


Background

  • Real Name: Vartox
  • Other Aliases: Protector of the Sombrero Hat Galaxy, Vernon O’Valeron
  • Marital Status: Widowed
  • Known Relatives: Elyra (wife, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Sombrero Hat Galaxy
  • Height: 6’2″ Weight: 213 lbs Age: Over 40+
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Vartox has an incredible array of hyper-powers of psychic origin. He’s displayed new ones every time he has appeared. He has vast superstrength and flying speed, near total invulnerability, several hyper-senses and many psychic abilities. He can change his appearance at will, pass through solid walls, project various kinds of energy to do many things.

At times, it has appeared as if there’s no feat that he cannot do or power that doesn’t possess. Since, his use of psionic  energies seems limited only by his imagination (of which he’s got more than enough, fooling even himself with it) this is for most purposes true.

Despite being more powerful than Superman himself, Vartox also has some useful skills. He’s very charismatic, can handle a secret identity well and is quite a detective.

Since his home turf is the entire Sombrero Hat Galaxy, he knows every planet in that area – and the various customs of the people there.

Lastly, he’s a top-notch mentalist of the highest possible degree and with full control over his powers.


History

Vartox began his career as the champion of Valeron. This is an Earth-like planet in the Sombrero Hat Galaxy 7.5 million light years (77 APs) away from the Earth. Vartox gained an array of psychic powers from an unknown origin.

His life has been very hard. His first love, Syreena, was a scheming criminal. Later, he married the beautiful Elyra. She then died under tragic circumstances which brought him into conflict with Superman.

Valeron is no more

Vartox once became infected with an agent which caused oxygen atoms/molecules to break up. Since Valeron’s atmosphere was 90 % oxygen, the planet exploded in a chain reaction. When Vartox sought help on Earth, Superman was on hand to keep him from destroying this planet as well.

Vartox took the realization that he’d caused his planet’s destruction very hard. He apparently sought atonement. He moved to Earth for a short period of time, working as a security guard on the Galaxy Communications, and became romantically involved with Lana Lang. Later, he found a new planet, Tynola, to defend. Lana remained on Earth.

The many menaces of Tynola were, however, created by the people themselves using a strange chanting power. It was a plot to secretly fill Vartox with an exotic type of energy. This in turn would make it possible for them to sacrifice him to a space-creature which was the source of their powers.

With Superman’s aid, the thing was sent away for good, and Vartox stayed to help the people who now truly needed him.

I thought that the Silver Age was over

Vartox’s old foe, Syreena, had survived the destruction of Valeron. She had escaped in a spaceship, and now again sought revenge upon Vartox. She made it appear as if Vartox’s presence on the Earth had somehow turned Lana Lang into stone. However, Syreena repented and restored Lana to normal – at the cost of her own life.

While sleeping on a meteor, Vartox was once possessed by a powerful alien creature, called Srakka. It used up superhuman bodies like a power vampire. Using Vartox’s memories, he went to Earth and kidnapped Lana Lang. Vartox’s consciousness left the possessed body and inhabited an Earth human.

Still possessing his mental powers Vartox, rescued Lana while Superman beat the creature out of Vartox’s body. Vartox thus became the first superhuman who had survived being possessed by the Srakka. Vartox again took possession of his own body and pledged to Superman that they would be friends forever.

Vartox then returned to his home galaxy, helping to defend against menaces and protect life whenever he is able. He remains a great galactic hero to this day.


Description

Very cool ! Vartox is a physically powerful and well-trained man with brown hair, a brown moustache and brown eyes.

His looks are an homage to Sean Connery in the John Boorman film Zardoz. Interestingly enough, Conery’s role was symbolic for virility – and of course “Vartox” is close enough to “Zardoz”.

Vartox appears as a real macho hero. He goes bare-breasted, clad only in a brown west (with yellow motifs), a pair of black and yellow shorts and long black boots covering almost the entire legs. On the lower part of these boots there are two small leg jets that he uses to fly with.

He’s got the physique to look impressive in these clothes (or lack of clothes if you will) and it’s immediately hinted that he’s a powerful man.

His true power, his psionic abilities, are in no way hinted at by his appearance until he begins using his powers. They often radiate out from his head, eyes or arms/hands. Vartox always moves confidently and powerfully. No doubt that this man believes in being a hero.


Personality

Vartox’s self-sacrificing courage and nobility have made him the champion of the entire Sombrero Hat Galaxy. He has a will focused on using his powers responsibly and for justice, although he occasionally focuses too much on the “justice” part.

Curiously, his clothing, suggests that there are some exhibitionist or macho tendencies in his personality also, but that has never really been seen.

He’s a got powerful personality. If he starts an action of some sort, he refuses to be stopped by any cost. He may act savagely while attacking at that state. Although he doesn’t want to kill anyone, casualties are common due to his rage. Superman has more than once been decked by Vartox for these reasons.

But is most important to note that ordinarily, and mostly, he will be a very caring, righteous, passionate and heroic individual.

Vartox commonly uses his psionics to see possible futures for various actions he could take. He then acts upon what he deems the best solution.

Relationships

Superman is Vartox’s closest friend. He will come to Superman if he has a problem too big to handle himself. So far, none of Superman’s foes has attempted to use Vartox’s instabilities against the Man of Tomorrow, but that is not to say that none will.

Vartox has, however, endured many emotional crises. In many of these situations, Vartox has borne a great guilt. Each emergency has taken its toll. Although Vartox is a noble hero, he treads dangerously close to madness at times, becoming a dangerous foe.

Whenever he loses his mental balance, he’s not likely to become a raving maniac. Instead, he adjusts his view of reality to one in which he bears less guilt. He actually subconsciously uses his powers to back up his delusions.

Confronting Vartox with reality is sometimes enough to snap him back, although this course of action is dangerous if it fails. When angered, Vartox freely and abundantly spends Hero Points . Superman, himself, is aware of Vartox’s mental instability. Frequently, he will be reluctant to believe Vartox’s versions of events.

Although this may lead to a violent confrontation, they always resolve their differences before parting ways.


Quotes

“I’m not your typical hero that you can defeat with your left hand ! I’m Vartox !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Vartox

Dex: 12 Str: 22 Bod: 16 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 11 Wil: 08 Min: 13 Occupation: Hero
Inf: 10 Aur: 14 Spi: 11 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 033 HP: 130

Powers:
Animate Image: 12, Broadcast Empath: 20, Comprehend Languages: 13, Dispersal: 12, Earth Animation: 12, Energy Blast: 13, Flight: 45, Force Manipulation: 20, Heat Vision: 12, Hypnotism: 20, Illusion: 15, Life Sense: 15, Microscopic Vision: 15, Mind Blast: 20, Object Awareness: 15, Omni-Power: 20, Personality Transfer: 08, Postcognition: 17, Precognition: 17, Recall: 08, Sealed Systems: 20, Sonar: 12, Skin Armor: 05, Super Breath: 12, Superhearing: 08, Super Ventriloquism: 12, Systemic Antidote: 18, Telekinesis: 22, Telescopic Vision: 08, Warp: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Any use of Omni-Power is totally free of HP cost
  • When making multi-attacks of any kind Vartox decreases the opponent number by 4 virtually making him able to attack up to 5 opponents per phase with no penalties; 6 opponents, for example then would be given the same penalties as attacking 2 opponents the same phase
  • Telekinesis actually allows Vartox to fight an opponent at distance by transferring kinetic energy from where he strikes to where the opponent at distance actually is
  • Vartox may only use a total of 45 APs of Powers and Action Attributes per phase. This does not include pushing or spending of Hero Points
  • Flight is limited to 18 APs within a planetary atmosphere
  • Powers mimicked via Omni-Power have to be purchased, first hand by HP Awards, after the adventure at a maximum level of 20 APs. Until this power is purchased further use of HPs are prevented.

Skills:
Artist (Actor): 08, Charisma: 11, Detective: 08

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Sombrero Hat Galaxy), Scholar (Astronavigation, Customs of civilizations in Sombrero Hat Galaxy)

Connections:
Superman (High)

Drawbacks:
Guilt (Destruction of Valeron, among other things), Married (earlier only)

Equipment:

  • Leg Jets [STR 04 BODY 05, Flight: 05]
  • Time Scanoscope [BODY 06, Telescopic Vision: 30, Note: Vartox has used Precognition in conjunction with this machine, R#2]

By Peter S Piispanen aka The Angel

Source of Character: Superman comics, DC

Helper(s): 1st Ed Superman Sourcebook, John Colagioia

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