Monday, January 1, 2024

New Salem Character #1: the Hustler

The Hustler (aka Ernesto "Fats" Mahoney)

Pyramid Tier: 2    Experience level: 5

Affect/Gimmick: 1950's Pool Hustler. About 5'8" but broadly built, some fat hiding lots of muscle. Stronger than you think. White shirt, suspenders, navy sport coat and pants, green visor, cigarette behind ear or in mouth. Carries a pool cue, chalk, and more balls than you'd expect in those suit pockets.

Gang?: Yes, the Solids. They are all beefy guys with different solid color breast-pocketed tee shirts, and the pockets all have numbers (1-7) on them. They are his legbreakers and security inside the Gleason, his pool hall HQ

Status: The Hustler is a limited threat (unless he gets lucky) but a surprisingly useful node on on the pyramid. He makes book, runs some gambling halls, and has two other costumed criminals under his eye in the Bowery. The Gleason is an information hub up and down the the Pyramid.

Powers: 3

  1. Transmutation - Change Probability. PR 8 per use, 26" range. He doesn't visibly act for this to happen, but it does take his attack. The environment shift in such a way as to give him a lucky break. If used to incapacitate 1 foe it is d% save to recover; if used on multiple foes in an area (13" half radius) it is d20 to recover. If used to damage someone it does 2d8 damage. This can be used as a carried attack on any of his basic combat as a "lucky shot". He may sometimes auto-succeed on detection rolls, but that counts as use for Power cost. 
  2. Heightened Expertise: +20% in gimmick of Pool Hall Hustler. This is applies as a +4 to attack rolls, and +4 characteristic saves on d20, and +20% any d% based saves to characteristics. Assume Intelligence is 4 pts higher for Inventing Point purposes but only for creating pool hustler based equipment. 
  3. Heightened Strength A: +6; bonus power, add 60 lbs. to effective weight without agility penalty (effective weight 300 lbs).
Weight: 240 (300)    Basic Hits: 6    Agi Mod: +0
S: 20        E: 10        HP: 19            
A: 15        I: 13          Pow: 58          
C: 15                        Move: 45"        
Accuracy: +2, or +6 with pool-related weapons
Damage Mod: +1
Reactions Mod: +2
Carrying Cap: 750    HTH: 1d8
Inventions: His two piece custom made pool cue is +3 to hit, +1d6 damage; he has convenient chalk dust which lets him target an opponents eyes without a special attack roll, 50% chance to blind opponent until they take an action to clear their eyes but no damage done; His thrown pool balls are +3 to hit, +1d3 damage, 15" range and may have secondary effects such as being bola (target loses 35" movement this turn), or being able to target a arm/hand/leg without a special attack roll. One blackout eight ball that acts as a smoke bomb (per darkness, 5" radius, lasts 2 combat turns/30 seconds at full blackness, another minute as shadowy cover). Over time he might have pool balls that deliver gas/flare/explosive attacks but he doesn't have them yet. 

Background/Origin: Ernesto "Fats" Mahoney was born lucky and cunning, and parleyed that into a career as a pool hustler, moving around the country. He eventually realized he was more than just normally lucky and started to obsess over why, developing his pool-hustler-chic and a tendency to push his luck with crime - break ins, bank robberies, etc. He first took the costumed name "Eight Ball" and led a gang called the Lucky Breaks in New Salem. 

When the Bahamian Sawshark approached him with the offer of joining the Syndicate or having his thumbs bitten off, Mahoney abandoned the Eight Ball identity and became The Hustler, opening up Gleasons and settling down to run numbers and protection for the Bowery. He still has to get his hands dirty sometimes, backing up the Solids in recalcitrant cases, but for the casual observer he's legit. 

The Hustler knows that Margarette Magritte has taken on the Eight-Ball identity and Lucky Breaks; he's her mentor and encourages her. She's a beautiful dame, he can't help himself. 

He also runs herd on the Bowery's other costumed criminal, Paper Doll (an his Decoupes). Hustler finds Paper Doll deeply unsettling, but knows what buttons to push to keep him under control. 

No comments:

Post a Comment