Wednesday, January 10, 2024

New Salem Character #10: Calypso

Calypso (Azaziah de la Baptiste)

Pyramid Tier: 2    Experience level: 5

Affect/Gimmick: She's a Calinda dancer/stick fighter from Tinidad, so that gives me every excuse for a 90's female villain "isn't she cold?" outfit. Whether she's wearing the feather wings is dependent on the situation, and in winter she has a long hooded cloak that matches the vibrant blue and gold of her costume

Gang?: Yes, the Dancers. They are men and women who wear the same color scheme but less revealing/more reasonable.  They are, like her, all Calinda practitioners, so stick fighting.

Status: Calypso is a member of the Havana Mob, and when they claimed a space in the Syndicate she was put in charge of gambling and bookmaking in Harbor Park. She resents this as it's not her passion - and also suspects that her having to oversee the Cormorant is meant as an insult to both her and him - and therefore is a bit of a chaos agent when Sevite isn't reining her in.  

Powers: 4

  1. Heightened Speed as Skill: She's not superhuman, but she does have a +10 on her initiative score and +30" (not 300") to her ground movement rate, and can easily spring/leap/bounce 1.5" high and 3" across from a standing start. Does not need to make A saves for complex movement. 
  2. Weakness Detection: 12" range (normally 1"), one action, gives her +4 accuracy vs. that target and learns one of target's weaknesses. 
  3. Heightened Attack: +4 to all damage rolled unarmed, with sticks or with her sonic powers. (see Game Mechanics Notes)
  4. Sonic Powers: This is her highly effective Calinda stick fighting. She can:
    1. Use one action to set up a Sonic Abilities defense that is just her extremely effective defensive dancing style with yells and shouts when she avoids a blow. 
    2. Make a carried sonic attack on her HTH attacks for 1d12 damage, costing 1 power per use. 
    3. If she spends the action drumming or otherwise making music she can transfer her Weakness Detection bonus to her Dancers until her comparable action next turn. She will always hang back and let her large dance company engage the heroes as she drums, weaknesses detecting each hero to make the dancers more and more dangerous, and only engages when she has to or when there are no dancers left. 
Weight: 110          Basic Hits: 3      Agi Mod: +2
S: 15     E: 13        HP: 11 
A: 17      I: 12         Pow: 57
C: 12                      Move: 85" (19 mph)
Accuracy: +2 or +6 with weakness detect, +8 with calinda sticks
Damage Mod: +1 or +5 with Heightened Attack
Reactions Mod: +1
Carrying Cap: 195    HTH: 1d4
Inventions: Her calinda sticks are steel reinforced hardwood (11 Structural Rating, +2 to hit, +1d4 damage). 

Background/Origin: Azaziah de la Baptiste defied convention as a young woman, becoming a full calinda stickfighter. The dance art is men and women in the Trinidad Carnival, but the women seldom learn the ritualized stick fighting, never mind the full combat application. Azaziah was a natural, and alas on the criminal element recognized a use for her grace and brutality. She was brought into the Havana Mob, and when it moved agents to New Salem she was one of them. Now she has a job with the Syndicate overseeing gambling and bookmaking that, to be fair, she mostly outsources to henchmen. The only part she has to do herself is keeping Cormorant in line and seeing she can get the old bastard to retire already. 

When she's not being tasked by Bahamian Sawshark or Sevite to beat the snot out of someone she's a public figure arranging unlicensed Carnival events for the Caribbean population of New Salem (she can't get them legally licensed because it runs counter to the city's 'Witch' branding), running dance companies and promoting Caribbean culture. She could probably go legit on just this but she enjoys fighting too much. 

Game Mechanics Notes: Heightened Attack is a problematic power design. As writ it gives you +1 on all damage per attack per experience level, so it starts out very weak and then gets much too powerful. I'll often use it either a) with the Heightened Expertise rules as I did here, where she has a tight group (Calinda attacks) that get a flat +4 damage, or to indicate some aspects of the character grows with time - one attack's damage, one attribute increasing, etc.- so that it's a character defining thing and not just an across the board damage boost.

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