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Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell)

Veronica Mars


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

Context

Veronica Mars was a 2004 TV show, which ran for three seasons. It wasn’t commercially successful, but had excellent reviews and a faithful fan base. This would allow for financing a sequel movie in 2014 – back then a landmark use of Kickstarter.

The show was primarily a detective story, with a noir-and-dirty-secrets atmosphere. The bleak storylines were balanced by the titular main character, played by Kristen Bells. This young investigator was bright, charismatic and snarky.


Background

  • Real Name: Veronica Mars.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Keith Mars (Father), Lianne Mars (Mother).
  • Group Affiliation: None, formerly part of “09” clique.
  • Base Of Operations: Mars Investigations offices and any handy Girl’s Bathroom at Neptune High.
  • Height: 5’4” Weight:  ?? Age: 17
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde


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Powers and Abilities

Veronica is a preternaturally gifted and tenacious investigator. Even for a sheriff’s daughter, she has developed, in a short time, an impressive array of talents and knowledge.

Her preference is to resolve cases using her computer skills, but has no fear regarding legwork and stakeouts, much to her father’s chagrin.


Bit of video

Let’s have the intro of the very first season, it’s short.


History

Veronica Mars is the daughter of the former Sheriff for the county that Neptune, CA resides in. The area is strongly stratified between rich and poor. But thanks to her father’s job, she was one of the few middle class kids at upper-crust Neptune High.

Being seen as “socially acceptable” meant she could meet, and start a strong relationship with Duncan Kane. She met him through her long-standing friendship with his sister, Lilly. Duncan and Lilly are the children of billionaire software developer Jake Kane.

Kane’s company provides jobs for many of Neptune’s residents. It’s said that he’s the most powerful man in the town.

As a result, she was in heaven; love and friendship aplenty no matter where she looked in her life, and she fell in with the “09” clique, composed of the richest kids in her school.

Veronica started High School both shy and tomboyish. But Lilly worked hard to bring her out of her shell. This effort accelerated with Duncan’s growing love and affection for Veronica, and her friendship with Duncan’s best friend and Lilly’s boyfriend, Logan Echols.


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Disintegration

And in the space of a handful of weeks, it all fell apart. Duncan, without warning or explanation, shunned her company. He broke up without so much as a word. Lilly was at first comforting, but then stunned Veronica by saying that she simply needed to move on, no reason given.

A stunned Veronica struggled to hold herself together. This attempt at composure that was shattered by Lilly’s sudden, violent death. Veronica was coincidentally with her father when he got the call. Thus, she saw the body of her best friend, lying by the pool.

But there were no answers; no obvious motive, and Duncan, near-catatonic, couldn’t even look at his ex-love, much less explain.

Duncan and Lilly’s parents explained, as best they could. Despite — or perhaps because of — their distraught reaction, Veronica’s father accused Jake Kane of one of the most heinous acts possible, and hauled him in for intensive questioning.

Murder and consequences

The questioning went nowhere. Jake Kane went to the press, explaining that he was accused of killing his daughter for reasons he did not understand, but that he was very, very innocent. And, indeed, there was no evidence for that crime pointing to him. That helped lead the citizens of the county that Neptune resides in to vote Veronica’s father out of office in a Special Election.

Veronica, backing her dad and his instincts 100%, suffered through ostracization from the vast majority of her High School. This also applied to life outside the school, as everyone knew about her father’s actions. Veronica had much of her innocence about the fairness of the world stripped away.

Even more left along with the sudden and unexplained disappearance of her mother, some weeks later. Veronica suspects that the loss of status, the move out of their house, and the ostrazation all apparently combined to drive Lianne from the house. She left Veronica a note stating that she would be back for her daughter, someday.

Girl sleuth

A devastated Veronica attempted to rebuild her life after these events. Her father opened a Private Investigator biz. She began to help him, initially as a receptionist, but in actuality working cases in secret for him, doing legwork as well as running computer searches.

She turned out to be a talented investigator. Furthermore, her utter lack of a social life allowed her to focus on only her already-excellent schoolwork as well as the PI work.

But, soon after her mother’s disappearance, she decided to make another attempt to re-introduce herself to the school’s social scene. She attended one party.

Despite the intensely chilly reception, she continued to hang out at the party. However, her soda had been spiked with a date rape drug. Though she kept no memories of it, she was sexually absued and found the word “Slut” written on the windshield of her car, in huge letters.

She attempted to report this to the police. They treated her with contempt, telling her to “grow some backbone”. Since then, she’s told no one else, even her father.

Despite her social ostraziation, she is asked, on occasion, by classmates to run an investigation. She does so for money on the side, and word is slowly leaking out about her skills as the series begins.


Description

The shorthand back then was “Buffy Summers with short hair”. Young, blonde, Caucasian female, the very model of “petite and pretty”; she responded to the comment “flat?” (in reference to her tire) with the snarky retort “as the Lord God made me.”

In a school full of “beautiful people”, she would stand out if she allowed it. She would easily be in the running for “homecoming queen”, or the like, were it not for the fact that no one will get within a country mile of her.

Her current dress mode is “rocker chic”, with a collection of jeans, tops, and chic pleated mini-skirts that are in fashion, but somewhat rebellious.

She does not wear much makeup, however, and her clothing is modestly tasteful by modern high school standards. She does have a hair “thing”, however, changing styles at the drop of a hat. She’ll go from curly to (small) pigtail to straight, all in the course of a day.

She does have a strong sense of fashion, some coming from Lilly’s attempts to train her. She applies her Artist (Actor) skill to remake herself with ease, from anonymous and mousy server to perky pink-wearing “new girl at school”, in a manner that would likely make even Sherlock Holmes a little proud.


Personality

Hello, Angry Young White Girl! At the start of the series, Veronica Mars is more-or-less resigned to the life of a PI’s daughter and social reject. Her overall attitude is “an eye for an eye”. If you do evil unto her, she will do worse until you.

She could give a damn what almost anyone at school thinks about her, speaks her mind to any fellow student, and even comes close to rejecting a friendly “eat with me at lunch” overture from a new kid.

Her lack of enthusiasm about class is similar. Although she doesn’t give teachers lip, she also is known to sleep in class. But is more than brilliant enough to get away with it, as she still scores in the top five students in school. She took Calculus as a Junior as well as other high-end studies.

Overall, she has a definite world-weary attitude that would do Sam Spade  proud. It’s a brittle shell, though, one built rapidly to protect her from a world that turned tragically upside-down in mere weeks. As Wallace puts it, she’s a marshmallow.

Mars attacks

She believes in justice, but would never say such a clichéd thing. She’ll go to bat to defend the downtrodden, and has a soft spot for the hard-luck cases, be they rich or poor. She’ll easily, and happily, verbally attack or dress down people who pick on the innocent, an act that has only reinforced her isolation in school.

To Veronica, now, such acts are as instinctive as breathing. She’s one of the good guys, in the end game.

She’s also, however, given to a very tunnel-vision version of the world. One where there are good guys, and bad guys, and the moral qualms of good vs. evil acts can be messy, at times.

She can still be surprised by people turning on her, but such people are quickly put in their place, sometimes in ways that are less-than-legal. For example, she will happily manufacture evidence of wrongdoing for “those who deserve it”.

Such acts are rare. More usual is her use of her wit and charm to beguile people into doing “favors” for her. Wallace is the more extreme example of this, but she’s developed a Shadow-like network of friends and informants.

Hardboiled marshmallow

Veronica does, however, have a conscience and a heart. She will eventually realize that she’s once again gone too far. She’s also slowing developing a sense of doing things for friends, as opposed to merely hanging out with them and asking for favors.

Her greatest drive, and weakness, is with regard to her two Irrational Attractions. Although any normal case is pretty much a Minor Irrational Attraction in terms of her devotion to solving a mystery, many of her most self-serving and manipulative aspects come roaring to the fore when it involves either finding her Mother, or locating Lilly’s true murderer.

These two cases are tied, strongly, to Veronica’s sense of innocence lost. Whenever she deals with them, you can expect her to be even more forceful than usual, compensating, to some extent, for the hole those people left in her life.

Most importantly, she’s still young, and although very smart, is inexperienced. Most plans that she puts into place are very sound. But she hasn’t learned how to plan around emergencies, nor the complexities of human emotional responses.


Quotes

[Voiceover] “You want to know how I lost my virginity ? So do I.”

“Am I asking you to retrieve a nuclear warhead ? No. Just copy the attendance records. It’s cake. Facile.”

“And I can already see the headline: ‘Brown-nosing, resume-packer wins in a landslide.’”

“He joined a cult ? What do they worship ? Wedgies ? Keggers ? Their parents’ platinum cards ?”

[Voiceover] “They gave me a choice. I could stand by my dad, or stand by Duncan and my dead best friend’s family. I chose Dad. It’s a decision I live with every day. And you want to know the kicker ? I don’t even know what’s true anymore. Maybe everyone else is right. Maybe Dad screwed up the investigation. Maybe I gave up my circle of friends — my life — over an error in Dad’s judgment.”


DC Universe History

Jake Kane’s first job out of college was with WayneTech, developing new algorithms for stable data communications. In his spare time, he came up with the initial concept for the algorithms and techniques for compressing a stable data stream that would work over almost any speed of link up.

Despite the sizable bonus and generous package WayneTech offered, he chose to move back home to Neptune, CA.

Working with friends, they implemented a “clean room” version of the concept. That grabbed the attention of some curious Venture Capitalists. After verifying that this version was not similar to any work he’d done for WayneTech, he put the streaming video concept on the market. Licensing it made him rich. Ironically, one of the first licensees was WayneTech.

Building and diversifying Kane software, he built and supported a huge chunk of the community. Remembering how important WayneTech was to Gotham, and how fairly they treated him, Kane emulated much of their work in Neptune. He hired locally, had excellent benefits and pay, and when Kane Software’s stock went public, everyone in the company benefited.

He was loved throughout the community, and a call by Bruce Wayne himself began a quiet series of interactions. Jake came to see Bruce as a source of strength through the rough years of his company’s early growth, and Bruce, in turn, enjoyed mentoring a man who, like himself, cared about his community, a rarity in their world.

Neptune

His wife Celeste, however, disliked the move back, because Jake resumed his interactions with his High School sweetheart, Lianne Mars. Although Lianne had been out to visit Jake in Gotham a few times, Celeste suspected that Jake moved back, in part, to get more time with Lianne. Jake denied it, and as the company grew, and his children grew older, he stopped seeing Lianne.

The death of Lilly Kane sent shock waves that were felt all the way in Gotham. Jake’s old co-workers remembered the shy little girl, and the ones not trapped in No Man’s Land sent flowers and sympathy in droves.

Bruce flew out for the funeral, and did some very subtle poking around. Concern about the Sheriff, Keith Mars, came from his focus on the Kane’s role. Yet Bruce could not deny that, based on the evidence, the Kanes were hiding something.

At the same time, No Man’s Land occupied all his attention, and he knew no one who could observe this case, and the local Sheriff was far from bumbling. Bruce left it to the locals, asking Oracle to check up on it from time to time.

After the events of Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, Oracle came to Bruce with an update on the Kane case. Bruce was already aware that Knootz was fingered as the killer, and Oracle had, prior to his arrest, made him aware that the now ex-sheriff was still working the case.

Agent of the Bat, sort of

What the latest update gave Bruce was the identity of the third party actively investigating — Veronica Mars, in defiance of her father’s requests. Oracle had to admit that she was stunned, that in many ways, this girl reminded her of herself at that age. And Bruce saw in Veronica’s edgy work an echo of his own obsession.

At the beginning of the series, Bruce has sent Cassandra Cain out to observe the situation, and report back, without revealing herself to any of the players on the ground…


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Veronica Mars

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: High School Student, unlicensed Private Investigator
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 012 HP: 020

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 02, Artist (Actor): 05, Charisma (All): 05, Detective (All): 05, Thief (Locks and Safes, Security Systems, Forgery): 03, Animal Handling: 05, Scientist (Computers, Research): 04

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Neptune), Attractive, Language (French, Italian, Spanish), Confidant (Wallace), Pet (Backup), Scholar (Poker), Scholar (Car Mechanics).

Bonuses and Limitations:
Veronica understands Spanish, but barely speaks it.

Drawbacks:
Dark Secret (Rape), Mistrust, Age (Young), SIA (Finding Lilly Kane’s Murderer), SIA (Finding Mother).

Equipment:

  • Mid-80s Chrysler LeBaron [STR 05 BODY 06, Running: 06. R#: 2].
  • Apple Powerbook [INT 01 BODY 02, Recall: 12, Miniaturization: 04, Radio Communications: 06, R#: 3].
  • Digital Camera [BODY 02, Telescopic Vision: 04, Recall: 07 (Limitation: Recall is visual/still images only)].
  • Cell Phone [BODY 01, Recall: 03 (Limitation: Recall is visual/still images only), Radio Communications: 05 (Bonus: Radio Comm can be used to transmit both audio and visual information, separately)].
  • Electronic Eavesdropping Devices (Bugs) (x4) [BODY 01, Radio Communications: 05, Miniaturization: 12].
  • GPS Tracker [BODY 01, Detect (Mars family phones): 08].

By Woodrow Jarvis Hill.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Veronica Mars Television Series (UPN, CBS).

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