Monday, November 12, 2007

Original Superhero Character Concept - Mr. Magnesium

[Another character meant for an online role-playing game, but never used. The brief game mechanics notes are for the Champions system.]

Real Name: Todd Chaston
Occupation: Adventurer, former librarian
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Teri Evans Chaston (wife, 55), Jenny Chaston (daughter, 28), Tara Chaston (daughter, 19).

Background: Todd Chaston was born in 1942 to an auto mechanic with a love for comicbooks. Gary Chaston would read comics to his son most every night, and it was an early inspiration. Todd grew up, went to college to study the humanties, and fell in love with the daughter of the campus librarian. Teri Evans was a high school graduate, three years Todd's junior, but the union had the blessing of Teri's father and the two were married the following year. Inspired by Teri's father, Todd pursued a Master's degree in library science. Upon graduating, he had a job lined up for him at the reference desk of the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, IN. But it was 1967, and the draft was threatening. Todd joined the navy, and served on a carrier in the South Pacific for two years. After serving his time, he settled down to a quiet lifestyle, thinking his most adventurous days were over.

By 1981, Todd was 39, his daughter Jenny was 9, and his daughter Tara was just an infant. Todd had advanced to assistant director to the library, and it was in that capacity that he was sent to Chicago for a library conference. He was heading back to his hotel downtown by bus after a long day at the conference, when the bus and all 20 people onboard were abducted. Their abductor was Throckmorton Sivana, last heir to a line of mad scientists. Sivana planned to use everyone on the bus as guinea pigs in an experiment to turn humans into "elementals" under his control. Todd didn't know most of the people on that bus -- and has never had the courage to learn most of their names, as most of them didn't survive. The treatments worked on him, though, and he began to transform into pure magnesium. Luckily, the Olympians found Sivana's hideout under Lake Michigan and rescued him, because as pure magnesium he was literally burning up on contact with the air! The Olympians saved him, and somehow reversed the process. And so his adventure seemed to be over.

But it wasn't. Todd was changed already, even though he seemed to be back to normal. Once again inspired by superheroes, he was now determined to show that he could make a difference too.

Lacking superpowers, he quit his job at the library and ran for public office. For the next 16 years he would be a city councilman, and did many good things for Ft. Wayne and its people. However, he gradually began to discover that there were side effects to his previous transformation. Todd felt an affinity to magnesium, and could sense its presence. High levels of magnesium in his body kept him vigorously healthy, unusually so for a man in his 50s. Most remarkably, though, he found that with practice he could control magnesium! In increasingly greater amounts, he could summon magnesium from exposed earth or seawater in fountains of bright, blazing flame!

Todd experimented with his powers slowly and secretly, though he shared everything he was doing with his wife. Teri was slow to accept that her husband had superpowers and wanted to use them to perform random acts of heroism! He also told his older daughter, Jenny. Jenny was now 27, and teaching social science at a junior high school. His younger daughter, Tara, was 18 and too undisciplined to share in the secret. Tara dated excessively, partied instead of studying, and barely passed high school. Instead of college, she intended to make it big in a rock band. Luckily, Todd was not so prone to impulsiveness. He planned careful for a career change to superhero. He studied judo and tae-kwon-do. He bought several specially tailored suits, but covered his tracks carefully so he could not be tracked down later by them. Teri insisted that he wear a bullet-proof vest. The cane weapon was Jenny's idea. Todd's original idea of joining the Olympians didn't pan out when the Olympians vanished, but there was a promising new team which had sprung up in Pennsylvania. Todd read the account of how they had saved lives at a factory fire, and knew that this would be his chance.

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hair: Grey-brown
Eyes: Brown
Age: 58

Appearance: Mr. Magnesium wears a white sports coat and matching slacks and a fedora. Under the fedora he wears dark sunglasses over a black hood which tucks under the lapels of his jacket. On the pocket of his jacket are two red letters -- "Mg." He wears a concealed bulletproof jacket beneath his sports coat. He carries a black metal cane which opens at the top and contains a magnesium flare.

As Todd Chaston, he appears to be a well-built man in his late 40s, with a toothy grin and crow's feet. His widow's peak is thin on top, and he sports a moustache.

Powers: Todd Chaston has unearthly control over the element, magnesium. He can manipulate the element over great distances, and even separate or combine it with other elements at the molecular level.

His body absorbs magnesium from his environment, maintaining his good health.

He can cause plants to absorb great amounts of magnesium from the soil and grow at an accelerated rate (magnesium being the main element of chlorophyl). In this fashion, he can cause a seedling to sprout in an hour, or cause a grown plant to double in size in the same amount of time. Todd must concentrate on the plant for the first ten minutes of that time.

Todd can draw magnesium forcefully out of another person's body. The magnesium combusts on contact with the air, burning on the victim's skin, and creating a bright, blinding light. The victim is also left disoriented by the withdrawal. Todd uses this ability only as a last resort due to how harmful it is to its victim (1d6 points of killing damage, temporarily blinded for 1-3 turns, disorientation causes -2 to all rolls for 1-6 hours).

His most spectacular ability is to draw great amounts of magnesium directly out of the earth or saltwater, where the element is most abundant. The magnesium spout can reach a height of up to 7-12 feet, and is useful in a variety of ways. The bright flame can temporarily blind anyone in 40 feet. The spout serves as a barrier most dangerous to cross (3-18 points of killing damage). Soft metals will melt and combustibles will burn on contact with the magnesium spout. Todd could conceivably fill his entire range of vision with magnesium spouts. The only limit to his power is range, and the availability of magnesium. Only the earth's crust and seawater have enough magnesium. Todd cannot affect this power inside a building, for example.

The magnesium flare concealed in his cane can also temporarily blind an unwary opponent. Todd can exercise such precise control over the magnesium that he can use his flare to write literally in the air with it. He can also cause the burning magnesium to leap from the flare to another spot within 10 feet.

His eyes are naturally resistant to blinding attacks, and his polarized sunglasses complete his protection from the brightness of the burning magnesium. Sunglasses alone are not enough protection at close range. Todd is also to some degree resistant to heat and flame, though to ensure his safety his costume is flame retardant. The bulletproof vest he wears will stop a .42 caliber slug at medium range.

Todd is an above average athlete and hand-to-hand combatant.

No comments: