Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Nang Tu

Nang Tu [First appeared in National Comics #13]
Nang Tu has lived for so long that she has no clear memory of her childhood, or the time before she gained what is essentially immortality. For untold centuries, she guarded the isolated Temple of the Man-Eating Spider and the magical All Seeing Eye that was embedded in the forehead of the giant Khotan Buddah statue in the temple's inner sanctum. She also served as the high priestess for the cult devoted to the Man-Eating Spider god.
   In 1941, playboy adventurer, sorcerer, psychopath, and superhero Merlin the Magician (aka Jock Kellog) came to Nang Tu's temple, intent on stealing the All Seeing Eye. In the process, he killed all the priests in the temple, including Nang Tu, and destroyed the structure with a magical explosion. However, since she was unable to die, Nang Tu spent decades of suffering, impaled on a spear and buried under the ruins of the temple--reviving and then being painfully killed by the spear Merlin drove through her body and the crushing weight of the rubble, over and over.
   In 2002, explorers in the employ of the Parker Foundation came to the isolated valley where the temple had once stood. While searching the ruins, they came upon Nang Tu and brought her back to their headquarters in the United States. Here, she was nursed back to health, with her body recovering faster than her mind, as she had been left deranged by sixty years of torture. When she regained control of her mental faculties, she swore her alleigance to the Foundation and her rescuers... but she is secretly investigating Jock Kellog's fate and family. She intends to avenge the destruction of the temple and religion she served for so long by ending Kellog's bloodline in as brutal a fashion as possible.

New Material for d20 SUPERS (an ongoing project at NUELOW Games)
The following feats and talent trees are possessed by Nang Tu (10th level Dedicated Hero/10th level Charismatic Hero). In addition, she has access to magic, as described in NUELOW's Feats of Mysticism & Magic.
   Everything from this point forward in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller.

You heal more quickly than the normal person.
   Benefit: Regain 1d6 hit points per hour of rest, 1d3 if you are active.
   Special: If you have the Immortal talent, this feat stacks with the hit point regeneration.

When dealing unarmed damage  to a foe, either through a scratch or a bite, you poison your foe.
   Benefit: If you successfully hit and inflict at least 1 point of unarmed damage on a living foe, you poison your target. You determine the effect of the poison when you choose this feat. In all cases, the target may roll a Fort save (DC12+1/2 your level (round down)+your Constitution bonus) to negate the effects. A new save must be rolled each time you score a hit.
   Lethal: The target suffers 2d4 hit points of damage every minute until the venom is neutralized, until he or she dies, or until the venom runs its course. The effect lasts a number of minutes equal to your Constitution bonus.
   Paralyzing: The target cannot move for a number of minutes equal to your Constitution bonus.
   Weakening: At the end of the round upon which you first struck, the target's Strength and Constitution attribute scores are reduced by a number of points equal to your Constitution bonus. The reduction is temporary and lasts a number of minutes equal to your Constitution bonus.

You are immortal, either in appearance or in fact.
   Unaging: You remain the age you are when you select this talent. You can still be aged by extraordinary, magical or supernatural effects. Further, you no longer need food or drink to survive, although you still feel hunger and thirst.
   Immunity: Select a type of damage from the following list. You are immune to all damage of that type. Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, Piercing, Poison/Venom, Magic.
   This talent can be selected more than once. Each time it is chosen, a different immunity must be specified.
   Prerequisite: Fast Healing, one other Minor Power Feat. One talent from the Invulnerable talent tree.
   Immortality: If you are are reduced below -10 hit points (dead), and your body would still be able to function save for the wounds, you immediately begin to recover hit points at the rate of 1 point per minute. You remain unconscious until you are restored to +1 hit point. Wounds to not heal, and if the damage is from an ongoing source (such as a spear lodged in your body, or a rock crushing parts of it), the damage that originally brought you below -10 hit points must be re-rolled). Immortality in such a circumstance can be more of a curse than a blessing.
   Prerequisite: Immunity

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Jay Brooks

Jay Brooks [first appeared in Sparkling Stars #29, 1947]

Jason "Jay" Brooks was a hardboiled social worker who took on worked with teens who were slipping into lives of crime. He charged for his services, but would often waive his fees for cases he found particularly interesting, or for families who were in dire financial straits. He was also something
   Before serving in WW2, Brooks had been a vice detective in Empire City. Upon returning home in 1945, he set his mind to rescuing those who might be tempted into lives of crime instead of incarcerating them once they were already corrupted. He ran his freelance "social work" business until 1954, occasionally teaming up with the likes of Jill Trent and the King of Darkness. He was eventually forced out of business when a boy he had been trying to help was killed by gangsters and his parents filed suit against him.
   Brooks did not give up his crusade to make the world a better place, however. He relocated to Los Angeles where he adopted the costumed identity of White Flash. He had several team-ups with Black Cat until an injury forced him to retired from the superhero business in 1958. He then went back to school, got a social works degree, and picked up where he had left off. He worked for L.A. Youth Services until his retirement in 1972--with the reputation of being the toughest social worker to ever walk the mean streets of South Central.

Brawn 20, Body 13 (includes +1 Hat Bonus), Brains 5
   Traits: Hard to Kill, Incurable Optimist
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Debate Philosophy, Dodge, Murderous Mitts
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Pistol (Small Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor). Fedora (Hat, +2 to Body while worn).

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is for Flor

Flor [first appearance Jet #3, 1951]
Art by Al Williamson
Flor was born to laborers in the colony of Titan, destined for a life of backbreaking work in the mines feeding the hungry industries of Earth. Her natural beauty attracted the attention of the colony's governor who brought her to his palace as a concubine. Here, Flor met Della May, and together they plotted to gain their liberty by first killing the governor and his wife and then joining Titan's flourishing criminal underworld.
   The young women grew close as they gradually became important and feared criminal masterminds, going from partners to friends to lovers. Together, they wove a network of smugglers and pirates that was a challenge to the system's oppressive Earth-based government and a rival to the somewhat less-violent Venus-based smuggling ring known as the Brotherhood of Space.
Art by Al Williamson
   Flor had the reputation for being able to acquire anything and kill anyone if the price was right. She took personal delight in torturing to death anyone who failed or offended her. One survivor of her wrath told a tale of how Flor and Della once made love as the blood of prisoners who were being sliced to death by robots rained down upon them.
   Flor hated the Earth government and all its functionaries, and whenever it didn't interfer with her business she would lend support to rebels who opposed it. She had an even stronger hatred for the bounty hunter nicknamed Space Ace, as he foiled more than one of her schemes... but she hated the crew of the Space Rover and their captain Tara even more. Not only had Tara and her crew assisted the Brotherhood of Space in stopping Flor from gaining a foothold on Venus, but Della once expressed the opinion that Tara was "sexy in that little uniform she wears."

FLOR (Female)
Brawn 23, Body 17. Brains 11
   Traits: Coldblooded, Nimble, Same-Sex Preference
   Combat Manuevers: Basic Attack, Castrate, Disarm, Disembowel, Dodge, Double Strike, Murderous Mitts, Seduce, Strike Pose, The Look, The Walk,
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Ray Gun (Ranged Weapon, deals 3 points of damage that ignore armor). Whip (Melee Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that tear away clothes. After 10 points dealt, a character who is wearing Clothes (not Armor) is dressed in tatters that barely cover nakedness).

Special Note: L.L. Hundal, co-creator of the ROLF! game system contributed to this entry. For more on Flor's enemy Tara, see NUELOW Games' Tara, Marauder of the Spacelanes.

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Eve Adams

Eve Adams [first appearance School-Day Romances #1, 1950]

Eve Adams' parents were killed when she was 14, and she went to live with her aunt Aunt, Adeline Adams, in Peoria, IL. Adeline was a rich heiress who spent her time traveling the globe, so Eve was raised primarily by the servants at her aunt's lavish home.
   When Eve graduated from high school (a year early), Adeline told the girl to delay entry into college and instead join her on her trips to the far corners of the globe. Adeline would occasionally arrange for Eve to take a class or two in the world's great universities, but they rarely spent more than three months in one place. Adeline referred to Eve as an "exchange student" wherever they went.
   Despite her frumpish appearance and seemingly conservative attitudes, Eve noticed that her aunt frequently showed surprising liberal--and even libertine--attitudes on more than one occasion.  Aunt Adeline also seemed to be equally at ease in high society and in hives of scum and villainy... and she seemed to know people at all levels of society.
   On her 19th birthday, Eve learned the truth about Aunt Adeline and the globe-trotting she engaged in. Eve was on a date in Melbourne, Australia, when the charming young man she was with attempted to kill her. She barely escaped with her life, and she found her aunt just in time for an entire team of assassin to descend upon them. Adeline dispatched the assassins with shocking ease--and then revealed to Eve that she was an agent of an all-woman, U.N.-sponsored intelligence organization that she was hoping to induct Eve into--and that the world travel was part of that process. She revealed to Eve that she had been doing missions at each of their stops during the past few years, and that now that her cover had been blown, they would be returning to New York City and the group's headquarters so Eve could begin her real training.
   Within the year, Eve left her aunt's tutelage and assumed her role as a hunter of international war criminals and evil masterminds while masquerading as an early member of the jet-set. During the 15 years she was an active agent, she crossed paths with the likes of Kismet the Man of Fate, Princess Pantha, Lady Satan, and even the immortal guardian of justice Spacehawk. She later became one of the chief instructors of female agents who kept the world safe during the 1970s and 1980s.

EVE ADAMS (Female)
Brawn 22, Body 18, Brains 6
   Traits: Improv Master, Nimble
   Combat Maneuvers:  Basic Attack, Castrate, Dodge, Murderous Mitts, Seduce, Strike Pose
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Hi-Tech Body Suit (Armor, absorbs 2 points of damage) OR High Fashion, suitable for the place and climate she is presently in (Clothes). Small Knife (Melee Weapon, deals 1 point of damage). Small Pistol (Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor).

 Special Note: Eve Adams and Aunt Adeline were featured in early issues of School-Day Romances and Popular Teen-Agers from Star Publications. The revelation of Adeline's connection to a secret U.N. department, Eve's tragic past and exciting life as a spy herself weren't revealed in the series. They are the invention of Steve Miller.

Are you ready for some baseball?!

The baseball season has started in the United States, so this seems like a perfect time to mention the NUELOW Baseball Special!

The Baseball Special contains d20 rules for bringing baseball into your OGL Modern games, a baseball-themed ROLF! Battle Scenario that pits Super-Fan vs. Team Mascot. The booklet also includes the comic strip "L.L. Hundal's Guide to Baseball for Europeans," with art by Samm Schwartz. It's everything immigrants and those who are just-barely American (like Hundal & Miller, respectively) need to understand the Great American Pastime! (Well... at least we think it's all you'll need.)

Click here to see previews of the NUELOW Baseball Special, or to get your own copy for a fraction of what it costs to even get to a ballpark these days.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for Dana Eerie

Dana Eerie (fist appearance [sort of] Eerie #5, 1952)
Dana Eerie is the only child of famous stage magician Jonathan Eerie. Her mother died giving birth to her, and her father raised her alone. By her mid-teens, she was his chief assistant and preparing to become a magician in her own right when he retired. But on a windy October afternoon, her life changed forever when her father insulted a genuine witch by doubting her powers and accusing her of being fraud. The witch, in turn, placed a curse on the person Jonathan loved the most--Dana.
    Since that day, Dana's life has been filled with all manner of monsters. No matter where she goes, or what she tries to do, she is either pursued by or comes into contact with undead creatures, demons, and psychopathic killers.
   Shortly after casting the curse, the witch made it clear to Dana that if the girl ever in the same room as her father while she is under the curse, he will be drawn into hell itself, Only the witch can lift the curse, but she refused to do so until Dana's father admits that supernatural forces exist in the universe.
   Now, Dana travels the world, fighting the monsters she is constantly beset by while searching for the witch so that she may force her to lift the curse. She is also staying one step ahead of her father, who is trying to find her, so that he can see that she receives treatment for what he believes is a mental disorder.

Brawn 20, Body 17, Brains 5
   Traits: Improv Master, Nimble, Same Sex Preference
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Castrate, Dodge, Double Strike, Run Away!, Strike Pose,
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Various talismans to protect herself from evil spirits (Stuff). Pistol (Small Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor). Silver Dagger (Small Melee Weapon, deals 1 point of damage).

Special Note: Dana Eerie is an original character inspired by a fact mentioned by an editor at the Public Domain Superheroes Wikia. He or she pointed out that the same drawing of a frightened woman (originally by Sid Check) was used on thee different covers. The editor further pointed out that all issues of Eerie, save two, featured a young woman being menaced by monsters. When A to Z April is over, I'll be posting some notes for Dana Eerie adventures inspired by those covers.

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Caleb Ketchum

This character write-up is being posted as part of the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. The RPG stats are for ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game.

Caleb Ketchum (first appearance: American's Best Comics #26)

Caleb Ketchum was a university chemistry professor who developed a compound that was generally safe for the environment, birds, and mammals, but deadly to most insects. It could paralyze humans and other mammals for brief periods if they were exposed to extreme doses, but otherwise it had no effect on them.
   Ketchum dreamed of making millions in his own pest extermination business, but business was slow and his compound was expensive to produce, as it used the expensive chemical cacobane as its main ingredient). Not wanting to be branded a failure. he joined forces with gangster Dan Haley and they used his compound for a variety of robberies by rendering guards unconscious. Ketchum and all of Haley's gang were eventually brought to justice by the superhero Black Terror.
   Ketchum died in prison in 1954, but his daughter Dorothy discovered his the formula for his compound while going through his personal effects, as well as research notes that indicated it would cause insects to grow to gigantic size if it was used upon them without the presence of cacobane in the mixture. She used the formula in an attempt to avenge her father's death by unleashing a hoard of giant insects on Salt Lake City, Utah in 1955. Her insect army was defeated by Fire-Man, and she was killed in the battle.
   Sixty years later, in 2014, a masked crimefighter using paralyzing gas and calling himself the Exterminator emerged on the scene in Guardian City. This man is secretly Hyrum Wallace, the great-grandson of Caleb Ketchum. After finding Ketchum's formula in a trunk of effects that once belonged to his notorious grandmother, he decided to use it for good.

Brawn 14, Body 12, Brains 5
   Traits: Coldblooded
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Dodge, Run Away!, Strategic Bleeding
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Cacobane Gas Gun (Ranged Weapon, no damage but forces up to 2 opponents to make Brawn ATT checks. If the check fails, they lose all actions are are completely defenseless for 2d6 rounds)