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GIGN officers training

Pere Fouettard (“Whipping Father”)


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.

As to the French Gendarmerie characters – a number of American listmembers having occasional need of European supers. They felt that the “official” characters in the MU and DCU such as Le Peregrine (sic) are somewhat campy. So I took the liberty of creating a few French supers from an French point of view.


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Background

  • Real Name: Philippe Delisle.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Marlène (wife), Vincent (son), Laurence (daughter).
  • Group Affiliation: ESIGN.
  • Base Of Operations: Mont-de-Marsan (near Paris).
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 215 lbs.
  • Eyes: Gray Hair: Dark brown


More context

The Père Fouettard symbolism

The Père Fouettard  (“Whipping Father”) is under various names a mythological figure for children in most of France, Austria, southern Germany and Benelux. He walks along Santa Klaus (called Saint Nicolas or the Père Noël in Francophone areas).

While Santa gives presents to good kids, the Père Fouettard whips and otherwise punishes naughty kids. The term “Père Fouettard” has come to generally be applied to a terse, authoritarian father figure.

Notes about organizations

The French Gendarmerie  Nationale is not unlike the Gendarmerie Royale du Canada, known in English as the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). Those are military units tasked with law-enforcement duties.


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Law enforcement in France is separated between the Gendarmerie Nationale (for rural areas and small towns) and the Police Nationale (civilian police, operating in large towns). Some towns, especially Paris, also have municipal polices.

The military nature of Gendarmerie is generally downplayed. It has a bon vivant, old school and provincial image, and makes sure to have friendly relationships with the locals. Many Frenchmen are not even aware that the gendarmes are military, and have at their disposal means including assault rifles, close-quarter battle weaponry, armored vehicles, special airborne sections and the like.

The GIGN  (Groupement d‘Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale) is a special, elite unit tasked with special operations – particularly high-risks hostage crises and anti-terrorist ops. Although the unit remains generally discreet, operations average between 50 and 100 per year. Several hundred hostages have been freed and many more arrests have been made. The GIGN is believed to be the most active anti-terrorist law enforcement unit in the world.

The GIGN was heavily covered by international news during such operations as the 1976 Djibouti hostage crisis  or the 1994 Marseille hijacking , both of which are considered brilliant anti-terrorist operations in very difficult circumstances. Highly controversial orders have also been followed, including an assault in New Caledonia  in the 1980s that left a number of hardline independence activists dead in unclear circumstances.

Since the 1990s, focus as shifted away from the military gendarmes to an equivalent civilian unit in the Police National called RAID. RAID personnel trains very closely with GIGN gendarmes, uses the same techniques and weapons, etc. but are civilian policemen.

Although the GIGN is a cross between the British SAS and the American FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams, it professes a policy of keeping deadly violence to a minimum. The unit indicates that it will take considerable risks to arrest perpetrators instead of killing them.

Training emphasises bullet placement to shock and wound with a one shot, one hostile neutralised philosophy. The emblematic sidearm is thus a powerful, accurate revolver with only six bullets.

Hand to hand combat techniques (based on an extensive krav maga cursus) are also stressed for non-lethal assaults, as well as K9 tactics. Dogs are for instance taught to neutralise the driver of a moving car or to immobilise handguns using their jaws.


Powers and Abilities

Philippe’s superhuman talent manifests as a series of actions. The first is a focused mind probe. This laser-like telepathic intrusion scours the mind of the opponent for images and feelings relating to their father. It then extracts the most violent, negative, fearsome memories to compose a nightmare version of the subject’s father.

Even if the subject never knew their father, the Père Fouettard’s telepathic break-in will pick up imaginary memories and childhood fantasies and nightmares about an imaginary father. Anything negative is fair game, no matter how tenuous or repressed.

Once the frightening father image has been assembled — this takes but seconds — the Père Fouettard will psionically  modify his appearance to match. He will acquire a giant size (as tall as an adult appears to a small child) and a suite of superhuman powers based on the negative recollections.

In DC Heroes RPG terms this often includes superhuman STR and BODY, weapons, telepathic powers, Aura of Fear, Stretching, etc..

The powers gained by the Père vary from subject to subject. The more he is able to dig into the target’s subconscious, the more powerful and flexible his “nightmare father” form can be.

Subjects who have had an idyllic father will have a father image (which is treated by the Père’s Shape Change power as the “base animal”) stats in the 3-to-5 range. On the other hand, subjects who have had an actually abusive father may have a tremendously powerful father image with high stats and a range of brutal powers.

Officer

Being an ESIGN officer, Delisle is also a highly trained soldier, law enforcement officer and tactical operator. He is particularly handy with small arms and ground vehicles. Marianne has also turned him into a remarkable rock climber.

He is skilled with nightstick fighting, including advanced paired sticks technique. Delisle noticed that his Père Fouettard forms very often wielded comparable blunt weapons, and trained with GIGN escrima instructors.

He has also demonstrated shrewd negotiation skills, even in very tense situations such as hostage taking. And he is an qualified police negotiator.

His uniform has been specially modified with stretchable areas to accomodate for his size-changing.


History

Phillipe Delisle is, at 38, one of the oldest field members of ESIGN. Born in Charente, he became a gendarme at 20, giving up law studies for which he was ill-suited.

He made it to sergent-chef very quickly. Some insinuated this was due to his father, an influential judge. But it was obvious that his great skills at management, his superior intelligence and his ability to quickly learn a great deal about complex subjects explained his promotions.

Delisle was constantly torn between his ambition — as he wanted to build something he could be proud of — and his bon vivant enjoyment of alcohol, fine food, parties and powerful motorbikes. Thus, he joined the Gendarmerie’s pelotons motorisés (highway patrol) as a interception specialist riding a BMW R80RT .

As an interceptor, Philippe soon developed a reputation for his tactical sense, seriousness and nerves of steel. However, his wife was worried about the risks her husband’s job entailed, and this drove a wedge in their marriage.

Super duper !

When he was 25, Delisle first experienced bursts of superhuman power. He randomly morphed  into a scary, deformed giant for brief periods of time. He was immediately put under medical observation. The ESIGN’s doctors developed a training and appraisal program for him to follow.

Delisle already had above-average firearms training (being the main organiser of his Gendarmerie target-shooting club) and reflexes. This made an abbreviated integration within ESIGN possible. Marlève Delisle told her husband that if he’d join the high-risk ESIGN units she’d leave. He ended up signing anyway, and they remained estranged for years.

Philippe is a veteran of the current ESIGN team and one of the highest ranking officers in the field. Ironically, many members see him as something of a father figure.


Description

A broad-shouldered man in his late 30s, with short hair. No matter how hard he works out, his body type always make him look like he has a bit of a paunch. His facial features evoke nothing so much as a cunning peasant, a salt of the earth type.


Personality

Phillipe is an intense man, driven to prove his worth as a leader and manager. He has a strong tendency toward taking charge. Being curious, he’s frequently investigating fields he wishes to know more about, cross-training in various specialities.

A dedicated manager, he engenders solid loyalty from his personnel. He obviously cares and spend a lot of time with his staff, often turning them into friends. He will immediately connect with anyone interested in one of his numerous hobbies – firearms, motorbikes, the law, fine food, fine wine, rock climbing, science fiction, conservative politics, French history…

Captain Delisle also has a quirky talent for spontaneously coming up with aphorisms. These sound impressive in the heat of the moment but are actually complete nonsense. Those non sequiturs happen randomly, and will often result in friendly taunting from his men.

Outreach

He is well-known in the French bikers community, being a part of many big biker reunions and rides. One of his bikes, a rare 1966 Munch Mammut , is famous among connoisseurs.

However, his involvement with civilians goes beyond bikers. Delisle is a big believer in the Gendarmerie’s outreach efforts. Even as an ESIGN officer, he will take any opportunity to give safety speeches in schools, go to high schools to present careers in the Gendarmerie, work on joint procedures with firefighters, and the like.

In combat, he acts like a quarterback for the team. He will adjust his tactics as he adopts the “father figure” of a selected opponent and quickly learns what it can do.

Delisle is very private about his relationship with his own father. Only his psychiatrist and his mother are aware of what goes on between the two men. Both Delisle and his doctor believe that if the dirty laundry was aired, the gendarme might loose his own powers. Or worse.


Quotes

“Certes, mais il faut bien comprendre que si on était pas là, on serait ailleurs.”
“Indeed, but it is important for you to realize that, if we weren’t there, we would be elsewhere.”

“Papa Fouettard pour l‘ensemble – je me charge du gros con derrière. Sniper 3, collez-lui une cinquante dans le buffet quand je lui tombe dessus.”
“Whipping Daddy to all points – I’m making the big dickhead at the back my business. Sniper 3, pump a 50 into his meat when I go medieval on him.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Père Fouettard

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 05 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: ESIGN operative
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 016 HP: 050

Powers:
Growth: 04, Mind probe: 14, Shape change: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Mind probe only to probe topics relating to the subject’s father (-2).
  • Shape Change can mimic imaginary creatures (+3).
  • Shape Change can only mimic one specific form (-4 – the mind probed subject’s menacing father image).
  • Shape change and Growth can only activate as many APs each as the Père Fouettard’s Mind Probe gains RAPs (-2).

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 05, Charisma (Intimidation): 08, Charisma (Persuasion): 06, Evasion (Ranged only): 05, Martial artist: 05, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science: 05, Vehicles (Land): 06, Weaponry (Firearms, police weapons): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma (Intimidation) only when using Shape Change (-1).

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Schtick (Paired Batons), Police Rank (Captain), Scholar (ESIGN/GIGN tactics), Familiarity (French History).

Connections:
ESIGN (Gendarmerie superhuman squad, High), Judge Delisle (High), Marianne (High), the Tenth (Low), French & neighbouring countries biking scene (Low).

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.

Equipment:

  • MOTOROLA MX-330 TACTICAL RADIO [BODY 04, Radio coms: 06 – a small, black mike-and-earring piece of equipment].
  • TACTICAL VEST AND VISORED HELMET [BODY 04, Flame immunity: 02, Invulnerability: 05, Shade: 01, Skin Armor: 02, Limitations: Invulnerability and Skin armor are only effective vs attacks by slashing and piercing weapons (-2FC each), Invulnerability cannot be used to counter *continuing* loss of Current BODY due to Killing Damage (-1FC), Partial Coverage (Can bypass Powers with a +3CS OV Trick Shot); Real Armour] plus optional GAS MASK [BODY 03, Sealed systems (Respiratory): 05].
  • Manhurin MR73 .357 magnum revolver (x2) [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 06, R#02, Recommended STR: 03, Drawback: Long reload time].
  • Extended mag Sig-Sauer P226 9mm pistol (x2) [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 17, R#02].
  • SIG-551 SWAT assault carbine [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06, Ammo: 08, R#02, Advantage : Autofire, Note : Can keep three ammo clips clipped together (5 pts)].
  • A pair of titanium alloy nightsticks [BODY 12, /STR/ 04, EV 03 (04+ w/STR), Limitation : /STR/ only in Grappling combat].
  • Flash-bang grenades (x5) [BODY 03, EV 02 (Area of effect 1 AP), Flash: 07 (Area of effect 2 APs), Sensory block (earring): 09, Note : all Powers are Combined, Grenade drawback, R#03].
  • Tear gas grenade (x1) [BODY 03, Fog: 03, Chemical attack: 04, Grenade drawback, Bonus : Chemical attack and Fog are Combined (Chemical attack is active thorough the Fog), R#03].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Homemade.

Helper(s): David Johnston, Darci.

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