Supporting Cast

Men In White


by Stephen Dedman

Scientists traditionally get a bad rap in the mass media -- depicted as nerdy and ineffectual, or insane and evil, rarely emerging from their white coats and ivory towers except to endanger their souls and possibly the world. While there are scientists whose ethics and sanity could be questioned, few have devoted their lives to adding up potential megadeaths on their slide rules while they wheel their chairs across labs full of bioweapons and unreliable robots. At least as many are young, fit, and prefer trekking through jungles and over cliffs in search of fossils, relics, good places to set up telescopes, and other clues to the mysteries of life.

In the interests of fairness, this article attempts to include all these types of scientists in this collection of NPCs. Some are suitable as Enemies or the "before" stage of a metavillain; others may be Allies, Contacts, Patrons, or even Dependents. Scientists do occasionally need rescuing from places most people would prefer to avoid -- but their abilities may also make them the ideal people to rescue PCs, particularly when they're being attacked by a radioactive amoeba the size of LA. They can also be used (with a little tweaking) when the GM needs a random group of scientists in any campaign: the board of the TSF or similar body, expert witnesses in a court case, hostages in a hijacking, explorers who've defrosted something man wasn't meant to know, or just the first people on the scene when a Martian cylinder lands near a university town.

Abraham Van Diemen

The soft-spoken son of a librarian and a music teacher, Abraham Van Diemen is modestly famous among his fellow biologists as a botanical illustrator and discoverer of previously unknown plant species. He's less successful as a teacher, and much prefers to be out in the field without even a packhorse as a companion. Unfortunately, his utter incompetence as a navigator means that he frequently becomes lost, and often unknowingly wanders into the territory of hostile Native American tribes. His usual reaction in a tight spot is to remove his false teeth; if that fails, he'll juggle rocks or cooking utensils. A surprising number of dangerous people have taken pity on him and directed him back to civilization, but sometimes he's had to run -- usually into even more dangerous places, picking up specimens as he goes.

Campaign uses: When Van Diemen fails to return in time for classes, his university hires a posse to go looking for him -- or they may try to preempt this by hiring the PCs as his minders. Alternatively, Van Diemen may be able to save the PCs if they are captured by a hostile tribe that has already learned to trust him: because of his knack for becoming lost, he may turn up unexpectedly in the most unlikely places.

Other settings: This version of Van Diemen is intended for an Old West or Deadlands campaign, but with only minor changes, he could become lost in any TL4+ world with some unexplored territory. Give him a time machine or a one-man starship, and the PCs could be searching for him forever.

Abraham Van Diemen (25 points)

Attributes: ST 9 [-10]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 14 [45]; HT 11 [10].
Speed 5.25; Move 5 (Run 6).
Dodge 5.
Advantages: Acute Vision +3 [6]; Charisma/1 [5]; Manual Dexterity +2 [6]; Pitiable [5]; Plant Empathy [5]; Reputation (+2, sometimes recognized, small group of people).
Disadvantages: Curious [-5]; Honesty [-10]; Loner [-5]; Obsession (discovering new plant species) [-10}; Overconfidence [-10]; Pacifism [-30].
Quirks: Always speaks quietly; Attentive; Incompetence (Cartography and Navigation); Thinks alcohol is only good for preserving specimens; Undiscriminating.
Skills: Administration-12 [1/2]; Artist-13 [2]; Boating-9 [0]; Botany/TL5-16* [8]; Climbing-10 [2]; Cooking-13 [1/2]; Ecology/TL5-12 [0]; First Aid/TL5-13 [1/2]; Fishing-13 [1/2]; Gardening-14* [1/2]; Gesture-13 [1/2]; Juggling-10 [1]; Naturalist-15 [6]; Research-14 [2]; Running-9 [1/2]; Savoir-Faire-13 [1/2]; Survival (Forest)-13 [1/2]; Swimming-9 [1/2]; Tracking-13 [0].
* receives bonuses from Plant empathy

75-point version: Cultural Adaptability [25], Disease-Resistant [5], Serendipity [15], and Single-Minded [5]; replace Attentive with Humble.

Gear: Pocket knife; Simple first aid kit; Telescope; Paper, pencils, paint set; Levis, shirt, overcoat, Stetson, shoes; Small backpack; Bed roll; Canteen; Mess kit; Personal basics.
Appearance: Unassuming, with tanned complexion, curly brown hair, brown eyes, and light brown wooden teeth; early 40s, 5'9", 140 lbs.

Dr. Alan Silver

Alan Silver found his first dinosaur bone on his father's Montana ranch when he was only five; since then, he's spent most of his time out in the open, searching for fossils -- not counting a few horrible months spent in the trenches during the Great War, followed by more months in hospital recovering from his wounds. He studied geology, natural history, and savate in France and England, but he was also learned as much as he could about military logistics and engineering.

Silver loves travel for its own sake, paying his way with poker when necessary, but everywhere he goes -- either looking for fossils or giving his popular lectures -- he gathers useful information about troop strength, military leadership, and anything else that might affect the outcome of a war. His hope is to protect the lives of civilians and American soldiers - by preventing wars, if possible, but failing that, by helping them to be resolved as quickly and bloodlessly as possible.

Campaign uses: Silver makes a useful ally or patron for the PCs, but even he may need rescuing occasionally -- especially if he's arrested on suspicion of espionage. Despite his noble aims, he might also become an opponent if he uses his influence to try to keep the US out of a war the PCs regard as just or necessary. The PCs may also be given the job of preventing him from smuggling some valuable relic out of its native land, or in a race to grab it first.

Other settings: With minor changes, Silver can fit into any setting where there is treasure to be found and a threat of war.

Dr. Alan Silver (100 points)

Attributes: ST 10 [0]; DX 12 [20]; IQ 14 [45]; HT 12 [20].
Speed 6; Move 6 (Run 6).
Dodge 6.
Advantages: Cool [1]; Voice [10].
Disadvantages: Curious [-5]; Obsession (finding fossils) [-5}; Overconfidence [-10]; Pacifism (Self-Defense only) [-15]; Sense of Duty (victims of war) [-10}. Reputation: +3 as adventurer and scientist, occasionally recognized, most readers (large group); -3 as suspected spy, thief and smuggler, sometimes recognized, (small group). Total, 0 points.
Quirks: Unable to settle down; Likes flying, hates sailing; Distrusts military officers (reacts at -1); Likes women with foreign accents; Caffeine addict.
Skills: Administration-12 [1/2]; Anthropology-11 [1/2]; Archaeology-12 [1]; Area Knowledge (World)-13 [1/2]; Artist-11 [1/2]; Bard-15 [1]; Boxing-12 [2]; Cartography-12 [1/2]; Climbing-12 [2]; Diplomacy-14 [1]; Driving/TL6 (Truck)-12 [2]; Engineer/TL6 (Military)-12 [1]; Fast-Talk-13 [1]; First Aid/TL6-13 [1/2]; Gambling-15 [4]; Geology/TL6-14 [4]; Guns/TL6 (Rifle)-15 [2], (Shotgun)-13 [0]; Holdout-13 [1]; Intelligence Analysis-10 [1/2]; Karate-12 [4]; Knife-11 [1/2]; Language (Arabic)-12 [1/2], (English)-14 [0], (French)-12 [1/2], (Hindi)-12 [1/2], (Mandarin)-12 [1/2], (Russian)-12 [1/2]; Naturalist-12 [1/2]; Packing-11 [1/2]; Paleontology-15 [6]; Photography-13 [1]; Research-14 [2]; Riding (Horse)-11 [1]; Running-10 [1/2]; Savoir-Faire-16 [1/2]; Savoir-Faire (Military)-16 [1/2]; Scrounging-14 [1]; Sex-Appeal-13 [1]; Spear-10 {1/2]; Stealth-11 [1/2]; Strategy (Land)-11 [1]; Streetwise-12 [1/2]; Survival (Desert)-14 [1], (other)-11; Swimming-11 [1/2]; Teaching-12 [1/2]; Throwing-11 [1]; Writing-13 [1].

150-point version: Absolute Direction, High Pain Threshold, +1 to DX, IQ, and all skills (except Running and Sex Appeal).
Cinematic version (200 points): another +2 to ST, Combat Reflexes, and Daredevil to 150 point version. Supers version (500 points): to Cinematic Version, +2 to DX and ST and +1 to HT; Danger Sense, Immortality, and Trained by a Master; increase Karate and Boxing to 16, change Savate to Pao Chuan, and spend 10 points on Pao Chuan skills and maneuvers.

Gear: in the field, Winchester '94, trench knife; Ford Model T Truck loaded with adventuring gear. Wears heavy leather jacket, slouch hat, khakis and boots.
Appearance: Mid 30s, tanned complexion, black hair, gray eyes; 6'1", 170 lbs.

Edgar Westhill

Edgar Westhill's rise from obscurity to utmost secrecy began at the start of World War II, when he tried to enlist in the RAAF as a navigator or radio operator. He was found unfit for active service and assigned to the Pay Corps, where a perceptive officer discovered that his talents went beyond accountancy and chess and recommended that he be sent to Station X as a code-breaker. When the war ended and he was demobbed, he joined the London TSF (p.AH30) as an archivist and computer programmer.

As much as Westhill enjoys his work, he is quick to volunteer for any duty which gives him a chance to see more of the world (or better still, the universe). Though undeniably geeky, he has a quirky sense of humor, and has volunteered to be buried in the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Campaign uses: In a wartime setting, the PCs are most likely to be assigned to Westhill as bodyguards -- or assassins, if they're on opposite sides. Between wars, they may be able to call on his services to help crack codes or solve other mysteries.

Other settings: Westhill's skills will become even more valuable as computers become more important, and his technophilia may inspire him to buy as many implants and biomods as he can afford. In a Cyberpunk or later setting, he may be a powerful hacker -- either a valuable ally or patron, or a very dangerous enemy.

Edgar Westhill (25 points)

Attributes: ST 9 [-10]; DX 9 [-10]; IQ 15 [60]; HT 10 [0].
Speed 4.75; Move 4.
Dodge 4.
Advantages: Eidetic Memory [30]; Mathematical Ability [10]; Single-Minded [5].
Disadvantages: Curious [-10]; Epilepsy [-30]; Impulsive [-10]; Oblivious [-3]; Skinny [-5]; Unfit [-5]; Workaholic [-5].
Quirks: Alcohol intolerance; Forgets to eat; Loves crosswords and mystery novels; Mild phobia of dogs; Untidy, but fastidiously clean (has his best ideas in bath).
Skills: Accounting-18 [1/2]; Astronomy/TL6-13 [1/2]; Chess-17 [1]; Computer Programming/TL6-17 [1]; Cryptanalysis/TL6-18 [2]; Cryptography-13 [0]; Cryptology-13 [0]; Electronics/TL6 (Computers)-14 [1]; Intelligence Analysis-13 [1/2]; Language (English)-17 [0], (French)-16 [1/2], (German)-16 [1/2], (Russian)-16 [1/2]; Linguistics/TL6-13 [1/2]; Literature/TL6-13 [1/2]; Mathematics/TL6-18 [2]; Meteorology/TL6-13 [1/2]; Physics/TL6-13 [1/2]; Research-15 [1].

75-point version: Gadgeteer (Realistic), +2 to DX, and 5 points of Armory, Engineer, or similar skills.

Gear: Usually wears heavy overcoat with pockets stuffed with books and pens (DR 2), over old but clean suit. Later (TL7+ versions) will also carry enough gadgets (but not weapons) to count as medium encumbrance.
Appearance: Gawky, looks 20ish regardless of his true age. Pale complexion, untidy white-blond hair, light blue eyes; 5'9", 100 lbs.

Dr. Simone Brandt

Dr. Simone Brandt is a lab assistant at the TSF, a job she enjoys much more than teaching. Though attractive, she hasn't socialized very much since her fiancé died in a plane crash. Instead, she became terrified by the threat of nuclear war, and fascinated by the ability of some insects to survive levels of radiation that would quickly kill humans.

After many nights in the lab, Brandt believed that she'd discovered the chemical that enabled insects to survive, and extracted enough of it to test on mice, then on monkeys. When they survived with no apparent ill effects, she injected herself with the formula . . . and slowly began to metamorphose. Though she looked the same, she found that men seemed more strongly attracted to her. She began dating again, but when she tried to end a relationship with a naval pilot, he made the mistake of slapping her. She blacked out momentarily; when she revived, she found his corpse at her feet, stung to death by wasps.

Since then, Brandt has become more cautious, and better at reading people's intentions -- but she's also killed two would-be muggers and the lecherous dean of biology from a major university, and she's beginning to enjoy the feeling of power.

Campaign uses: The 25-point version of Brandt may be useful whenever the PCs need scientific assistance for defeating giant bugs, or hordes of ordinary sized ones, or a forensic entomologist to estimate how long someone's been dead. The more powerful versions might be a monster in an Atomic Horror campaign, or a superheroine or metavillain in a Supers campaign.

Other settings: With a little tweaking, the 25-point version of Brandt can serve as a generic scientist in any TL7+ campaign. A slightly modified 100-point version might fit into a Cyberpunk world as an industrial spy/assassin with bionics or biomods.

Dr. Simone Brandt (25 points)

Attributes: ST 9 [-10]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 14 [45]; HT 11 [10].
Speed 5.5; Move 5.
Dodge 4.
Advantages: Attractive [5]; Fashion Sense [5].
Disadvantages: Curious [-15]; Impulsive [-10]; Necrophobia [-10]; Workaholic [-5].
Quirks: Attracted to men in uniforms, especially military (reacts at +1); Collects amber jewelry; Incompetence (Teaching); Really hates being called "Honey"; Uncongenial.
Skills: Acting-12 [1/2]; Biochemistry/TL7-13 [4]; Chemistry/TL7-13 [2]; Driving (Car)-10 [2]; Ecology/TL7-11 [1/2]; First Aid/TL7-13 [1/2]; Genetics/TL7-13 [4]; Guns/TL7 (Pistol)-11 [1/2]; Nuclear-Biological-Chemical Warfare/TL7-13 [1/2]; Poisons-12 [1]; Research-14 [2]; Savoir-Faire-13 [1/2]; Sex-Appeal-10 [1]; Zoology/TL7 (Specialty: Insects)-19, (other)-13 [4].

100-point version: Berserk [-15]; Cast-Iron Stomach [15]; Control Animal/4 (Insects Only, -60%; can controls a 4-hex horde or 4 hexes worth of giant insects) [5]-13 [8]; Discriminatory Smell (Special Enhancement: can detect emotional state, +50%), (Special Limitation: offended by smell of insect repellents, -1) [23]; Gluttony [-5]; Hard to Kill/4 [10]; Pheromone Control [25]; Sanitized Metabolism [5]. For a more villainous version, replace Necrophobia with Bloodlust.
Supers version (Mantissa, 500 points): increase ST to 14, DX and HT to 14; Altered Time Rate/1 [100]; Clinging [25]; Elastic Skin [20]; Hyper-Reflexes [15]; Hyper-Strength [30}; Invulnerability (Radiation) [75]; and Resistant to Poison [5] to 100 point version.

Gear: White lab coat over fashionable costume; FN HP35 (at home); Radiation Suit, Geiger counter, rations, etc. in backyard fallout shelter; '42 Ford V8.
Appearance: Late 20s, light golden complexion, blonde hair in ponytail, green eyes; 5'7, 120 lbs.

Dr. Thomas Mernok

Thomas Radu Mernok fled from his native Transylvania at the end of World War II, graduated from Harvard with an economics degree five years later, and by 1957 was already one of the world's best-known economists, regularly consulted by politicians and think-tanks. His fame and influence increased over the next 40 years, but so did the number of his detractors.

As an economist, Mernok is almost as good as he thinks he is; it's just unfortunate that his model for a perfectly balanced global economy requires reducing the world's population by 80-90%. Mernok, however, sees this as a temporary setback, easily remedied. His expertise in other fields isn't as dependable, but many politicians and businessmen are swayed by his reputation and the force of his personality, and have supported some of his crazier schemes despite the objections of other advisors.

Campaign uses: Mernok doesn't think of himself as a villain or mad scientist, but he rarely thinks of people that he doesn't like as anything but numbers. He has cheerfully proposed using bioweapons to destroy the world's rice crops in order to increase the price of wheat and corn, burning down art galleries to collect the insurance, or making it legal to run down pedestrians in selected cities. The 100-point Mernok is worth -10 points as an Enemy, but he can also become a 15 point Secret Patron if the PCs are doing something that suits his ultimate goal.

Other settings: Mernok is designed for a modern-day Supers, Illuminati, Espionage, or Covert Ops campaign, but political puppet-masters with their own agendas are probably as old as politics, and are likely to survive into the far future. In a Cyberpunk setting, he may become the CEO of a free trade zone; in a galactic empire, he may be governor of a planet or entire sector.

Dr Thomas Mernok (100 points)

Attributes: ST 10 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 16 [80]; HT 11 [10].
Speed 5.25; Move 2.
Dodge 5.
Advantages: Contact (Business, skill-21, available on a 12 or less, somewhat reliable) [8]; Contact (Military, skill-21, available on a 6 or less, completely reliable) [12]; Favor (Political faction; Patron, very powerful organization, appears on 12 or less) [10]; Reputation (+2 to political supporters, small group of people, always recognized) [4]; Status +1 [0]; Tenure [5]; Very Wealthy [30].
Disadvantages: Bad Sight (nearsighted, wears glasses) [-10]; Bad Temper [-10]; Fanatic [-10]; Fat [-10]; Intolerance (all other races) [-10]; Greed [-15]; Jealousy [-10]; Megalomania [-10]; Reputation (-2 to political opponents, large group of people, recognized on 10 or less) [-3].
Quirks: Careful; Expensive tastes, especially in liquor and women; Likes most forms of instrumental music, but not singers; Mild agoraphobia; Paranoid drunk.
Skills: Administration-14 [1/2]; Area Knowledge (Washington D.C.)-19 [6], (World)-16 [1]; Chess-15 [1/2]; Conspiracy Theory-14 [2]; Diplomacy-14 [1]; Driving/TL7 (Car)-9 [1]; Economics/TL7-18 [8]; Genetics/TL7-12 [1/2]; Guns/TL7 (Pistol)-13 [2]; History-16 [8]; Intelligence Analysis-13 [1/2]; Performance-17 [2]; Politics-16 [2]; Psychology-14 [1]; Research-16 [2]; Savoir-Faire-18 [0]; Strategy (Ground)-13 [1/2]; Teaching-14 [1/2]; Writing-14 [1/2].

150-point version: Danger Sense [15]; Diplomatic Immunity [20]; Resistance to Poison [5]; and Voice [10].

Gear: Second Chance Standard vest under good gray suit; Walther PPK in briefcase; 5'8", 218 lbs.
Appearance: Jowly, inscrutable face, wavy silver hair and bushy eyebrows, dark blue eyes behind thick glasses.

Dr. Mai Kitamura, ME

Mai Kitamura claims to have chosen her specialization when she was an pretty intern because she was tired of patients making passes at her -- something that hasn't yet been a problem in the morgue. Her E.R. experience made her expert at identifying types of wounds, and after publishing some well-received papers, she was offered the position of medical examiner in a major city. After receiving death threats because of her testimony in a murder case, she was issued a kevlar vest and carry permit, and learned to shoot.

Campaign uses: Kitamura is a useful ally (and unfortunate choice of enemy) for any modern-day cop, superhero, or vampire-hunter. She may also be encountered at a dojo, bike race, or rifle range, lending medical assistance if needed. The PCs may be assigned as her bodyguards if she continues to receive death threats.

Other settings: A coroner with most of Kitamura's skills may be encountered in any setting from the Roaring '20s into the far future.

Dr. Mai Kitamura, ME (100 points)

Attributes: ST 10 [0]; DX 12 [20]; IQ 15 [60]; HT 12 [20].
Speed 6; Move 6 (Run 7).
Dodge 4.
Advantages: Alertness +1 [5]; Cool [1]; Resistant to Disease [5].
Disadvantages: Curious [-5]; Dependent (girlfriend; Average quality, loved one, appears on 15 or less) [-36]; Workaholic [-5].
Quirks: Hates violent movies; Lesbian; Loves Mexican food; Macabre sense of humor; Skeptical of anything supernatural and paranormal.
Skills: Administration-13 [1/2]; Biochemistry/TL7-12 [1]; Brawling-11 [1/2]; Chemistry/TL7-12 [1/2]; Computer Operation/TL7-14 [1/2]; Criminology/TL7-14 [1]; Diplomacy-12 [1/2]; Driving (Car)-11 [1]; Genetics/TL7-13 [2]; Forensics/TL7 (Specialty: wound pathology)-20, (other)-14 [4]; Guns/TL7 (Pistol)-15 [2], (Shotgun)-13 [1/2]; Judo-12 [4]; Languages (English)-15 [0], Japanese-13 [1/2]; Law-13 [1]; Motorcycle-12 (2-wheeler)-12 [2]; Photography/TL7-13 [1/2]; Physician/TL7-16 [6]; Physiology/TL7-12 [1/2]; Poisons-13 [1]; Psychology/TL7-12 [1/2]; Research-15 [2]; Running-9 [1]; Savoir-Faire-14 [1/2]; Savoir-Faire (Dojo)-14 [1/2]; Sex-Appeal-13 [2]; Streetwise-13 [1/2]; Swimming-11 [1/2]; Thanatology-12 [1/2]; Writing-13 [1/2].
Maneuvers: Arm Lock-13 [1/2]; Knee Strike-11 [1/2].

75-point version: reduce HT and ST by 1, remove Resistant to Disease.

Gear: White lab coat over business suit and running shoes, or leather jacket, jeans, and boots; Second Chance Standard vest; Swiss Army Knife; Glock-17 (in car); Remington M870 (at home); unmarked police car; Kawasaki Ninja; forensics gear.
Appearance: Late 30s, compact muscular build, golden complexion, spiky short black hair, dark brown almond-shaped eyes; 5'2", 115 lbs.

Father Ramon Chavez, SJ

Ramon Chavez of the Society of Jesus is a devout Catholic who, like many other Jesuits, turned a fascination with astronomy and geophysics into an academic career. He teaches physical sciences and physical education at a small Catholic college in the desert, spending as much time as possible between vespers and compline in their small but well-equipped observatory.

Campaign uses: Chavez is designed as an ally for a Horror campaign, where the advantages of having a boxing astrophysicist who can perform exorcisms should be obvious. He's unlikely to become an enemy unless he's convinced the PCs are doing something terribly wrong, but he may come to their aid (or vice versa) when they're stranded in the desert.

Other settings: With only minor changes (mostly to TL), Chavez may be found in any setting from the early 19th century to the end of the universe.

Father Ramon Chavez, SJ (75 points)

Attributes: ST 10 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 14 [45]; HT 11 [10].
Speed 5.5; Move 5.
Dodge 5.
Advantages: Charisma/1 [5]; Claim to Hospitality [5]; Clerical Investment/1 [5]; Collected [5].
Disadvantages: Compulsive Generosity [-5]; Disciplines of Faith [-5]; Honesty [-10]; Sense of Duty (all humanity) [-15]; Unattractive [-5].
Quirks: Distrusts electronics -- prefers optical telescopes, film cameras and analog watches; Responsive.
Skills: Administration-12 [1/2]; Astronomy/TL7 (Specialization: Planetary formation)-20, (other)-15 [8]; Bard-13 [1/2]; Body Language-13 [2]; Boxing-11 [4]; Computer Operation/TL7-13 [1/2]; Diplomacy-12 [1]; Driving/TL7 (Car)-10 [2]; Exorcism-11 [1/2]; First Aid/TL7-13 [1/2]; Geology/TL7-12 [1]; Languages (English)-14 [0], (Latin)-12 [1/2], (Spanish)-12 [1/2]; Mathematics-12 [1]; Mechanic/TL7 (Car)-12 [1/2]; Physics/TL7-12 [1]; Research-13 [1]; Savoir-Faire-16 [1/2]; Scrounging-13 [1/2]; Sport (Basketball)-10 [2]; Streetwise-12 [1/2]; Survival (Desert)-13 [1/2]; Swimming-11 [1/2]; Teaching-13 [1]; Theology (Catholic)-13 [4]; Tournament Law (Boxing)-13 [1/2].

100-point version: +1 to ST, DX, and Physical skills; replace Charisma/1 with Voice.

Gear: Priest's habit and hiking boots.
Appearance: Late 40s, rangy with broad shoulders, well weathered complexion, gray hair receding in widow's peak, blue eyes; 6'2", 155 lbs.

Jaya Seth

Jaya Seth came to Winterjewel as a rather plump and unattractive planetology major on a field trip. She left as a head in a cryo-case, after whisper wolves ambushed her and devoured much of her body. Instead of cloning, she opted for a total cyborg body that few predators would even sniff at. She also began studying kempo and improving her weapon skills then, after graduation, applied to the Survey Service.

Her record with the Survey Scouts is impressive, but not impeccable; she is terrible at guard duty, because of her absent-mindedness. When bored, she retrieves data files from her computer memory and spends her time reading. Her other hobby is using her micromanipulators to paint extremely small reproductions of artworks -- a talent that also enables her to forge travel documents when needed.

Campaign uses: Seth is designed to serve as a science officer in a starship crew, but she may also be encountered in startown trying to charter a ship for an expedition, or recruiting people for an expedition, or just trying to raise money for research by fair means or foul.

Other settings: With some ultra-tech weapons and more points spent on combat and law enforcement skills, Seth might be a useful ally for a superhero in a pre-TL10 world.

Jaya Seth (75 points)

Attributes: ST 19, Arm ST 15 [80]; DX 11 [10]; IQ 13 [30]; HT 12 [20].
Speed 8.69; Move 8.
Dodge 8. Advantages: Absolute Timing [5]; Basic Communicator with Medium-Range radio [16]; Eidetic Memory 2 [60]; Lightning Calculator [5]; Mathematical Ability [10]; Metal Armor, PD3 DR7 [40], reflective surface [2]; Microscopic Vision x100k [4]; Micromanipulator arms [15]; Night Vision with Radiation Detector [10].
Disadvantages: Absent-Mindedness [-15]; Curious [-5]; Nightmares [-5]; Overconfidence [-10]; No Sense Smell/Taste [-5].
Quirks: Broad-Minded; Incompetence (Poetry); Intolerance (Technophobes); Not interested in sex; Paints face and body (any color but red) on social occasions.
Skills: Accounting-18 [1/2]; Appreciate Beauty-11 [1/2]; Archaeology-12 [1/2]; Armoury/TL10-13 (Beam handguns) [1/2]*; Artist-13 [1/2]*; Astrogation/TL10-14 [1]; Astronomy/TL10-15 [2]; Beam Weapons/TL10 (Laser)-14 [2]; Computer Hacking/TL10-14 [1/2]; Computer Programming/TL10-15 [1/2]; Driving/TL10 (ATV)-10 [1]; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors)-14 [1]; Engineering/TL10 (Robotics)-14 [1/2], (Stardrive)-14 [1/2]*; First Aid/TL7-15 [1/2]; Forgery/TL10-14 [1/2]*; Freefall-12 [4]; Judo-9 [1]; Karate-10 [2]; Literature-12 [1/2]; Mathematics-15 [1/2]; Mechanic/TL10 (Robotics)-14 [1]*; Speed-Load (Power cell)-10 [1/2]; Paleontology/TL10-12 [1/2]; Physics/TL10-12 [1/2]; Planetology (Earthlike)-16 [2], (other)-13 [0]; Philosophy (Zen)-12 [1/2]; Photography/TL10-13 [1/2]; Research-14 [1]; Savoir-Faire-14 [1/2]; Scrounging-14 [1/2]; Xenobiology (Terrestrial)-15 [2], (Hostile Terrestrial)-13 [1/2]; Xenology-12 [1].
Maneuvers: Arm Lock-10 [1/2]; Kicking-9 [1/2].
* Receives +2 bonus on skill rolls requiring very fine control.

100-point version: increase IQ, DX, and all skills by 1 OR increase DX and physical skills by 2 and add a concealed light laser torch to right arm.

Gear: Heavy Laser Pistol with variable beam and dazzle setting; Dinosaur Laser; Multiscanner; Electronics and Mechanics mini-tool kits; Utility Belt.
Appearance: Asexual shiny white-metal humanoid ("Omicron-15" General Purpose Humanoid Robot, p. RO119) with a bulging utility belt; 6' tall, 128.67 lbs.

Adventure Seeds

Chinese Take-Out (Cliffhangers): When Abraham Van Diemen fails to return from an expedition to the Russian-Chinese borderlands, Alan Silver and the PCs are paid to go looking for him. For Silver, it's a perfect opportunity to spy on both countries, and maybe even steal the collection of ancient skulls and alleged yeti scalp from one of the warlords.

Them Bones (Horror, Atomic Horror, or Supers): Father Gray, a priest accused of child abuse, goes missing. After Father Chavez asks the PCs to help find him, they find a skeleton with the bones picked clean, but without any visible bite-marks. Dr. Kitamura identifies it as Gray's, but can't establish either the cause or the time of death. Dr. Brandt says that insects would have taken weeks to strip bones that thoroughly, but witnesses claim to have seen Gray six days before.

Chavez and Kitamura team up with the PCs to investigate, but the closer they get to the truth, more likely they are to be next on the menu.

Purge (Illuminati, Supers, Psionics, or Cyberpunk): After Mernok leads a campaign calling for the conscription, detention or elimination of all metahumans (or psionics, or hackers, or the Cabal), MiBs are dispatched to round them up. The PCs and many of their friends, forced into hiding, are approached by former enemies who want to assassinate Mernok. Westhill has a scheme to discredit the economist and also wants the PCs' help, but his plan is less likely to succeed. Do the PCs try to save Mernok, or kill him?

Headhunters (Space): The PCs find themselves in a race against Silver, Seth and Kitamura to retrieve the computer from a Planetary Explorer robot lost in the jungles of Zelyoni. Both groups soon discover that Zelyoni is more dangerous and less uninhabited than they'd been told, and after finding the robot, they may need to team up to fight their way back to their landing craft.

Article publication date: November 21, 2003

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