Shrew (X-Factor character)


(Marilyn Maycroft)

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


For the context, history, etc. you should first read the character profile for Flambé, the field leader of the Hell’s Belles.


  • Real Name: Marilyn Maycroft. May now have a new name after going through the witness protection program.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Formerly Hell’s Belles.
  • Base Of Operations: Unrevealed.
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Solid yellow (Brown as a human). Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Little was seen of Shrew’s abilities (except her leaping, and even that is unclear). But she seems to have “rat powers”. These could reasonably include :

  • Ultraviolet vision (and excellent night vision) though quite near-sighted.
  • Ability to fit through small holes. Albeit a rat’s skeleton doesn’t actually has such special properties, despite traditional depictions.
  • Powerful jumping, climbing and sprinting ability.
  • Pointy teeth.
  • Superior healing ability and hardiness.
  • Acrobatic talent.
  • Developed sense of smell (though it’s chiefly used for chemming , which is probably a useless application for Shrew).

Shrew’s abilities might be a bit more powerful, but the Belles in general had a modest power level. And Shrew seemed to assume she couldn’t beat Briquette or Tremolo.

One would assume that she chiefly spends her Hero Points  when she’s cornered and instincts kick in.


See Flambé’s profile.

As for Shrew, she may have been forced back into a life of crime by the cartels. Or may have become an Initiative “recruit” if she did keep her abilities.


A White woman with brown hair, who can turn into a grey-furred rat-like person.


Apparently, the Belles were a dysfunctional, edgy, aggressive, cruel, out-of-control bunch. That was presumably in part thanks to Cyber. It is also possible that they were kept on a leash via narcotics addiction. Shrew considered that being on the group was insane and that the Belles were mad dogs.

Shrew acted in a snide, unpleasant way. But it is impossible to tell whether that is telling about her personality, since she feared for her life.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Enforcer
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 012 HP: 020

Analytical smell/Tracking scent: 04, Claws (Bite): 05, Cold immunity: 01, Fluid Form: 01, Jumping: 02, Regeneration: 03, Recall: 05, Running: 05, Sealed systems: 02, Super HEaring: 04, Swimming: 01, Systemic antidote: 01, Ultra vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Analytical smell/Tracking scent is Discerning when it comes to rodents’s chemical communication.
  • Super hearing only extends upward (ultrasonic range).
  • Jumping is not diminished for vertical distances.
  • Fluid Form is Only To Squeeze Through.
  • Recall only for olfactory data.
  • Sealed Systems only to extend the time during which she can hold her breath.

Acrobatics: 06

Alter-Ego (human form).

Previously Hell’s Belles (Low), Underworld (Low).

Distinct Appearance, MPR (Quite nearsighted).

Design notes

Shrew is the Belle who least demonstrates her super-powers, so I’ve went with a “generic rat powers” approach. Yes, I know shrews are not rats, but that seemed to be the intention. And the House of Ideas never was very good at zoology.

I went for a fairly detailed list of abilities since a/ that was the occasion to complete and unify our rat stats and b/ a lot of role-players seem to like rats. But the additional attention makes her look a lot more versatile than the other Belles.

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Shrew — Averaged PL 6.6

01 (02) 02 (03) 02 (04) 01 01 (03) 01 01 01


So, we’re assuming rat powers ● 37 points (Noticeable) ● Descriptor: Mutant
– Enhanced Strength 1, Enhanced Stamina 1, Enhanced Agility 2, Enhanced Fighting 2.
– Enhanced Fortitude 4, Enhanced Skills (4 Ranks in both Athletics and Acrobatics).
– Pointy teeth — Strength-based piercing Damage 2, Improved Critical 1.
– Like a cornered rat — Enhanced Advantages (All-Out Attack, Extraordinary Effort) both Limited (only when her back is to the wall)
– Rat senses — Senses 4 (Acute Tracking Scent, Low-light Vision, Ultra-Hearing), Feature (can memorise hundreds of scents).
– Rat fur — Immunity (Environmental cold and underwater suffocation, all limited to half).
– Rat physiology — Regeneration 1, Swimming 1, Feature (can fit into spaces twice as small as you’d expect).
– Darting rat — Speed 3, Leaping 2.

Combat Advantages

All-Out Attack (Limited), Close Attack 1, Defensive Roll 2.

Other Advantages

Extraordinary Effort (Limited).


Acrobatics 1 (+9), Athletics 3 (+9), Close combat (Unarmed) 3 (+7), Expertise (Narcotics enforcer) 4 (+5), Insight 2 (+3), Perception 3 (+4).


Initiative +4
Unarmed +7, Close, Damage 2
Pointy teeth +7, Close, Damage 4, Crit. 19-20


Dodge 08 Fortitude 10
Parry 08 Toughness 03*/05
Will 03

* Without Defensive Roll


  • Ex-sicaria Shrew used to work as a murderous enforcer for ruthless drug cartels. Now she’s on the run, and has to deal with the US gov’t..
  • Power Loss No Powers when she’s in her human-looking form.
  • Most rodents are near-sighted And Shrew presumably is very near-sighted in superhuman form.
  • Rodent form Shrew’s rat-like form will seem scary to many people.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 6, Dodge/Toughness PL 7, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 7.
  • Points total 84. Abilities 20, Defences 14, Skills 8, Powers 37, Devices 0, Advantages 5. Equiv. PL 6.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (X-Factor books in the Summer of 1992).