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Topo the Octopus (Aquaman character) playing music

Topo the Octopus


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

Context

Topo is an Aquaman character, and very much a Silver Age  one. He chiefly appeared from 1956 to 1967-ish, when animal companions for DC super-heroes were in vogue (Krypto, Ace the bat-hound, etc.).

This profile is based on Aquaman Archives vol. 1, which covered early 1960s stories.


Background

  • Real Name: Topo.
  • Marital Status: Presumed single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: The Sea Patrol.
  • Base Of Operations: The Atlantic Ocean.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: None


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Powers and Abilities

Unlike most octopi, Topo can understand simple instructions, patrol the seas looking for trouble, and learn a variety of skills. He can communicate telepathically with all sea life (and possibly other creatures). Topo can even receive telepathic messages from non-telepathic characters (such as Green Arrow).

In DC Heroes RPG terms, Topo may also have the Omni-Skill: 04 power. This would represent odd skills that Aquaman has somehow taught Topo. Such as archery and musical skill with a wide variety of instruments. If you favor this approach, eliminate his Weaponry and Artist skill. Aquaman would pay the costs for Omni-Skill usage via his Leadership ability.

Presumably, Aquaman has the Pet advantage, with Topo being the Pet. However, based on his teamup with Green Arrow, it is also possible that any hero (or at least JLA member) in the ocean can cause Topo to be nearby by spending 10 Hero Points .


History

First appearing in Adventure #220, Topo has been a longtime ally of Aquaman. Some people (well, okay, one website) suggest that it is not Aquaman’s new origin nor his gloves becoming green (rather than yellow) that divide the Golden and Silver Age Aquamen. But rather the first appearance of Topo.

Topo the Octopus (DC Comics) shoots bows at criminals, as taught by Aquaman

The stats given here for Topo cover only his appearances in the Aquaman Archive. But he is also a part of the post-Crisis DC Universe. Post-Crisis Topop was last seen helping out in one of the Dan Jurgens-written issues of Aquaman.

In his vintage Adventure appearances, he is leader of Aquaman’s Sea Patrol, an unspecified group of aquatic creatures that patrols the sea. Topo often goes off patrolling on his own and will let Aquaman know if he finds trouble. He has encountered and is on friendly terms with other JLA members (such as Green Arrow), and even appeared in a (non-canonical) issue of Superfriends.


Description

He’s an octopus, sometimes colored purple, sometimes brown, sometimes orange. But octopi can change their coloration, so that’s actually not a continuity error.


Personality

The most heroic and loyal octopus ever, he is never unwilling to lend a hand— or tentacle. His personality seems somewhat subdued since he is unable to directly communicate with sentient beings.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Topo

Dex: 02 Str: 01 Bod: 01 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: None
Inf: 01 Aur: 00 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 005 [006] HPs: 005

Powers:
Detect (Lies): 04, Extra Limb (x6): 02, Shrinking: 01, Speak with Animals: 16, Swimming: 01, Telepathy: 04, Water Freedom: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Detect (Lies) has a range of touch (Topo acts as a lie detector, detecting tremors in a person’s body).
  • Extra Limb grants its bonus to any activity that can be performed with multiple arms, such as playing several musical instruments with Artist (musician) or firing several bows with Weaponry.
  • Telepathy can only be used to receive messages from other beings who try to send their thoughts to Topo.
  • Speak with Animals may be limited to the Genre in which Aquaman’s stories appear, as all animals seem capable of communicating with each other.
  • Shrinking is Always On, but does not reduce Topo’s STR.

Skills:
Artist (musician): 02, Weaponry (missile): 04, Military Science (Camouflage): 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (the ocean).

Connections:
Aquaman (High), Green Arrow (and presumably other JLA members) (Low).

Drawbacks:
SPR (He’s an octopus).

By Sean MacDonald.

Helper(s): Mayfair’s octopus writeup (which lead to lower stats than you might expect).

Source of Character: DC Comics.

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