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Nebulous


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.


Background

  • Real Name: Joe Henry.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None, later in career.
  • Base Of Operations: Nomadic, later in career.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 175lbs. Age: Born in 1920, only active for 33 years.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: White


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Powers and Abilities

The Running was purchased using DC Heroes 1st edition. Later editions incorporated Running into Ice Production.


History

(Starting with Beta release/1st edition of DC Heroes).

Joe Henry was born in 1920 to a working class family. He was always very smart as well as very strong.

When World War II came, Joe joined the Army. Because of his strength, he was the heavy weapons expert in his squad. He earned the name “Bazooka Joe” due to his frequent use of that weapon.

1940s

To keep his keen mind occupied during lulls in the fighting, he taught himself medicine, so he could double as a field medic. His valor and exploits on the battlefield soon got Joe recognized by his superior officers, and he was assigned to a special forces unit. His unit was responsible for countering the Axis’ super powered soldiers, and they did very well.

During the war, he met and married a French woman. He then returned stateside with his wife. He couldn’t his special forces work out of his mind and so, in addition to his day job, he prowled the streets at night keeping them safe. He tinkered with some equipment he had laying around and made himself an armored suit with a plasma cannon.

Keeping the name “Bazooka Joe” he started his career as a super hero.

One night, a super villain tracked Joe home and burst in on him while he was sleeping with his wife. In the ensuing battle, Joe’s wife was killed and Joe was mortally wounded. In an attempt to keep Joe alive, he was placed in a cryogenic unit he developed, in the hope that future medicine could save him.

Into the future

(Character updated for DC Heroes 2nd edition.)

Joe was frozen until the mid 1980s. During a power outage, Joe’s cryogenic chamber failed.

As alarms rang, Kenneth burst into Joe’s chamber and pulled him from the cryo unit. Kenneth, it turned out, was the son of one of Joe’s squad buddies. Since Joe had no children, and his wife was killed that fateful evening, Kenneth had taken care of Joe’s house at the request of his father.

He had also continued to invest Joe’s small savings and royalties from patents, using some money to pay his own salary and keep up the house. By the 1980s, Kenneth had managed to make Joe a millionaire.

1980s

Kenneth rushed Joe to the hospital, where the doctors managed to patch his (once) mortal wounds. Upon waking days later, Joe learned he had slept for almost 50 years and he learned the fate of his wife. He was grief stricken and suffered from culture shock. He spent many weeks locked in his rooms.

It was during this time that he realized his body had changed. He found out that he was able to create ice from the very air. Over the next few months, he learned the extent of his powers, and how to control them.

He also read everything in site, in an attempt to catch up on the social and scientific advances that had taken place. After about 6 months had passed since his awakening, he was ready to re-enter the world as Nebulous !

Nebulous battled super villains for a few years, always on his own.

Чорнобиль

Then the Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred. He happened to be in Europe at the time and went to investigate. Out of the radioactive pit came a mutated creature, burning with radioactive fire ! Nebulous and the creature battled for a while until the creature bathed him in radioactive fire, literally setting off a nuclear reaction within Nebulous’s body !

The creature was ultimately defeated by other heroes that arrived on the scene. Nebulous, burning from within, was rushed back to the United States. For lack of anything better, he was placed back in his (fixed) cryogenic chamber, in the hopes that the cold would quench the nuclear fires consuming his body.

Slowly, ever so slowly, it appeared that it did, but it would take years to extinguish the fires.

(Time skips to post Invasion .)

Cryogenic chambers really aren’t safe

There was a terrible storm one night. Lightning stuck the power conduit to the lab. Sparks flew, equipment exploded, and the cryogenic chamber that Nebulous was stored in had its lid blown right off. Nebulous slowly awoke. As he did, he realized that, as well as still being alive, he could not shut off his ice production.

Layers of ice were forming on his body. It was only his great strength that allowed him to break free and stumble out of the chamber. Working at a furious pace, he constructed a suit that regulated his power. Quickly donning it, he was surrounded by a field that damped his power down to the point that he could control it.

Exiting the laboratory, he discovered that Kenneth was still watching over his household. Together, they straightened up the things that were damaged by the storm while Kenneth brought Nebulous up to the present.

Nebulous regained his strength over the next couple of days. He also investigated his lack of control over his ice production. He discovered that he could, if he tried, put a little more into the amount of ice he made, but whatever little extra he put into the ice would overload the containment suit and affect him as well.

1990s

He re-entered the crime fighting world, this time hooking up with an unknown group of heroes. He worked with them for a few months until he discovered their leader’s terrible secret.

While battling a group of super-villains, the heroes discovered that their leader used to be a member of the villain group, and actually worked as an super-powered assassin ! Also, the leader of the super-villains was actually a demon with voodoo-like powers.

During this adventure, the demon attacked Nebulous’s headquarters, blowing it up along with Kenneth. Nebulous also lost his wealth at this time.

When Nebulous found out about Kenneth, he went off the deep end [switched to Seeking Justice motivation]. During the escalating violence, the former assassin decided Nebulous had become a liability. He had M.A.T.R.I.X., the gadgeteer  of the group, construct a device to wipe Nebulous’s mind.

Nebulous was subdued by his teammates and the device was attached to his head. After it was activated, he lost ALL memory of he previous life. While he was dazed and confused, the “heroes” dumped Nebulous’s body away from their headquarters. Nebulous had to start his life over…

Player’s notes

During the adventure there was a lot of friction between the GM and I. During the course of the adventure, the GM effectively took 592 HPs away from my character (between the wealth reduction, advantages lost and disadvantages gained).

The ability to permanently wipe someone’s mind was also never explained. It was just played as a plot device by the GM, which annoyed the hell out of me. Nebulous was, of course, not played again and the campaign soon disintegrated. I have always maintained the “true” Nebulous to be the one prior to his last adventure.

Also, the point behind the out of control Ice Production was that Nebulous awoke after Invasion, and so was affected by the bomb that was set off. He never received the cure as Nebulous. After having his mind wiped, he was re-written as Matter Master.


Description

Nebulous always wears a rather bulky containment suit (thus the rather average DEX). The suit is a rather plain, dull gray. It has removable gloves and boots, with a full, clear plastic face visor. There is a faint shimmer of energy engulfing his body. This energy field acts to control his Ice Production and also doubles as a force field.

Underneath the suit, Nebulous is a well built man in his mid thirties, except for his snow white hair and ice blue eyes.


Personality

Prior to his last adventure, Nebulous was always played as a thinking, calculating person permanently thrust into the role of hero. He was by no means cold, just thought things through.

The grief of losing his wife and being permanently trapped in his containment suit led Nebulous to be distant, isolated from the people he knows as well as the rest of humanity. The only person he felt comfortable around was Kenneth.

After his mind was wiped, Nebulous turned much more vengeful. He does not know why, but he has a lot of pent up anger. Without a clear target for his anger, he takes it out on the villains he battles.


DC Universe History

For someone well versed in DC History, Nebulous could be fit into the DC timeline  and universe. Some liberties were taken with the above write-up to cover for a lack of knowledge on DC’s history.


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Nebulous

A 450 + 45 Point Character

Dex: 05 Str: 09 Bod: 07 Motivation: Unwanted Power/Seeks Justice
Int: 11 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Inventor
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 009/005
Init: 021 HP: 041

Powers:
Ice Production: 09, Running: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:
Ice Production will produce ice surrounding Nebulous if it is “pushed”. Volume of ice is equal to the number of APs Ice Production is pushed (including adding HPs to AV or EV. Take AV HPs + EV HPs and divide by two to determine amount “pushed”).

Skills:
Gadgetry*: 11, Weaponry: 07, Medicine (First Aid & Medical Treatment): 07

Advantages:
Expansive Headquarters, Silent Assistant (both later destroyed), Genius, Leadership, Language (French, rudimentary German).

Drawbacks:

  • SIF (Fire).
  • Loss Vulnerability (Intense Fires, 0 APs, All Powers).
  • Misc: Doesn’t understand modern social situations.
  • Public ID (as Nebulous, Secret ID as Bazooka Joe).
  • Unluck.
  • Attack Vulnerability (Fire, -2 CS). Misc: without containment suit, ice production goes out of control (treat as 9/9 attack to encase Nebulous in ice each Phase).
  • Traumatic Flashbacks (Hats/headbands/etc. placed on head, only later in career)

Equipment:

  • Plasma Cannon [BODY 07, EV 11, Range: 11, R# 03, Ammo: 06, plus 2 extra clips].
  • CONTAINMENT SUIT [BODY 03 Hardened, Force Field: 09 (always on, user only, can attack through), R#05 (Force Field only, does not apply to Drawback)].

Equipment bought/created during his career:

  • Magna Staff [BODY 05, Magnetic Control: 09, R# 05].
  • RESEARCH MAINFRAME (in Expansive Headquarters, destroyed with headquarters) [BODY 02, Int: 04, Recall: 15, Split: 02, R# 03].

By Michael Shea.

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