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Sage

(Homebrew)


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 this specific character – he’s my Psiborg Martial Artist for my buddy’s homegrown PBEM that should be happening soon…


Background

Sage is from an alternate Earth where the year is 2107. His America was a dystopic cesspool. He elevated himself from this mire by selling his soul to the corporation. He was trained as an industrial saboteur. Then, his development of an inoperable brain tumor gave the corporation’s scientists a chance to test an experimental process.

Malign

A genetic retrovirus was injected that modified the cancer cells of his inoperable brain tumor. The tumor was turned into a logic-processing system, a classical linear processor. With protocols, routines, programs hardwired into the genetic material of the infected tissue.

The next progression was the encouraged growth of cancerous material in Sage’s body. The cancer was treated with new generations of retrovirus. These Smart Cancers would metastasize to Sage’s brain where they would absorb brain tissue, rebuilding it as dendritic architectures inside the tumor itself. Rewriting the brain in a dynamic new medium.

This radical modification made the partition between man and machine thinner than ever before. After a dangerous op during which Sage was badly wounded, the scientists took the final step. Transplanting Sage’s modified brain and spinal cord into an advanced cyborg body.

Sage become the first member of an elite Special Forces Cyborg unit. And then the dark spiral of his world’s bleak dystopia became a yawning abyss…

Life on Mars

In 2105, Earth was conquered by Martians. In anticipation of the eventual demise of their own world’s ecosystem, the Martians embarked on the painstaking transformation of Earth’s own ecosystem into something more hospitable for them. Civilization was shattered.

Sage survived the invasion and was left to find a new purpose in life. He joined the underground resistance movement. His knowledge of weapons and tactics and his growing database on Martian physiology and culture earned him the role of cell leader.

The shadow war against the Martians was having very little effect, until a daring plan was hatched…

Mindspires

The Martians are all highly telepathic. On Mars their dense population makes for a shared consciousness, a mass mind. On Earth their numbers are so few they needed help maintaining their telepathic link.

So they created the Mindspires. These were huge obelisks of alien technology, most of their mass provided by harvested human brains. Like a big bee hive, each “cell” being a clear dome holding a human brain suspended in nutrients. These Mindspires acted as relay stations, broadcasting Martian mindspeak all over the globe.

Compared to humans these Martians are devoid of any substantial amount of emotion. There is nothing in their culture that provides pleasure. The tenants of their culture dictate complete sobriety and sanity. This was the trait Sage intended to exploit.

A powerful hallucinogenic was making the rounds in the human subcultures. Sage obtained a large quantity of this drug. It had no effect on Martian physiology, but had a profound effect on the human brain.

Sage’s plan was to inject this drug into one of the Mindspires. The effects of this drug would then be transmitted across the massmind of the Martians on Earth and they would all die of shock within minutes.

Secondary effects include

The mission nearly failed, with only Sage reaching the guarded Mindspire alive. He injects it and there is a terrible psychic backlash. Sage is essentially knocked loose from his place in that timeline and ends up in our campaign’s timeline, present day.

Now, this is a totally different reality. These two timelines  have diverged greatly from one another. Obviously Sage notices this right away. His own database and memories don’t jive with events of this new world. Also there were no metahumans, no superheroes on his Earth. So he’s a fish out of water in some respects.

This history is such a radical departure from his own, that his repository of human history will not allow him to know the future before it happens.

Another side-effect to the psychiclysm he survived was the awakening of psi powers in his own mind. Telepathy and the ability to resist attempts to read his mind.

Therefore

So he’s a psychic cyborg (psiborg) martial artist from the future. None of his weapons survived his transition, and he doesn’t have any real built in weaponry. So he’ll mainly rely on his physical abilities, combat savvy, and his near encyclopedic, programmed mastery of martial arts. His body is nanite -infused and self replicating.

His motives will be to return home, perhaps with metahuman reinforcements, take the battle back to Mars. Also, he realizes that he may never return home, so he’d like to make the best of his life here for the time being. He also wonders if the Mars of this timeline is inhabited, and if so, what their intentions may be.


Description

He appears humanoid insofar as that he has the proper number of limbs and digits, and his outline is humanoid. However everything about his exterior screams “robot”. His body consists of armored plates that are anchored to myometic fibers that resemble human musculature.

His face was not crafted to approximate a human appearance, instead it was designed pragmatically, with functionality being the only goal. His “eyes” consist of a single multi-faceted aperture that is set in his forehead. The rest of his face is featureless except for small circular membranes along his jawline that serve as auditory receptors.

The rest of his face and head are heavily armored to protect his most vital part.

Other aspects

His “uniform” is essentially skintight and includes a full face mask. It is modular and can be automatically extracted and retracted through vents in his body. The uniform can be programmed to display different camouflage patterns and color schemes.

His face mask can interface with his optics allowing him to “see” through the fiber optic threads woven throughout the mask. The mesh-like material of the mask does not interfere with his auditory senses, either.

His mask constantly displays a stylized Martian holy symbol. This symbol is held in deep reverence by the Martians and would cause any one of their number to hesitate upon the sight of it. The use of this symbol is typical of the “cultural terrorism” the resistance would employ against the Martians.

The other members of Sage’s cell would depict other Martian symbolism on their own faces with face paint.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Sage

A 1084 points character

Dex: 09 Str: 05 Body: 08 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Will: 07 Mind: 07 Occupation: Corporate Special Forces, Resistance Cell Leader
Inf: 05 Aura: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 18 (22) HP: XXX

Powers (attributed to his cyborg body):
Cling: 03, Jumping: 04, Running: 06, Sealed Systems: 10, Comprehend Languages: 07, Directional Hearing: 07, Extended Hearing: 04, Regeneration: 02, Thermal Vision: 10

Powers (attributed to his encounter with the Mindspire):
Mind Blank: 04, Telepathy: 08

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 09, Martial Artist: 10, Military Science*: 05, Thief (Stealth)*: 09, Vehicles*: 09, Weaponry*: 09

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (North America of his timeline), Insta-change, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Computers, Martian Language, History of his timeline).

Connections:
Earth’s Resistance Movement of his timeline (High).

Drawbacks:
Forced Exile, SIH (aliens), Strange Appearance.

By Michael Todd.

Helper(s): Everyone on the list who threw ideas my way.

Source of Character: Ideas and concepts adapted from Warren Ellis’ treatment for Killraven, and Charles Stross’ and Simon Ings’ short story, Something Sweet from New Worlds #1.

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