Saturday, January 6, 2024

New Salem Character #6: The Bahamian Sawshark

Bahamian Sawshark (Geoffrey Hardesty)

Pyramid Tier: 3    Experience level: 7

Affect/Gimmick: He's played by Geoffrey Holder with the full affect of his 7-Up pitchman - suave, sure, cool, capable, charming, Caribbean, constantly in motion, graceful, dangerous. 

Gang?: Yes, but they are a legit gang, 'the Havana Mob', and they aren't people in distinctive outfits. They are professional hard men, and they are scary and capable. All of them are level 2 at least, and his lieutenant might almost be statted as a level 4 Sidekick, as he carries a lot of his bosses affect (if not his bionics). 

Status: The Bahamian Sawshark was the one who won the Havana Mob a place in New Salem's syndicate and he did it by being capable, charming, and ruthless. He's quick but calculated. He enjoys a challenge, enjoys the dance, but he's not giving up what he's built. The Havana Mob is a big gang, and he can call on all the nodes under him.

Powers: 3

  1. Heightened Agility A: +11; he's incredibly graceful and quick. Bonus: when he's armed with his sword he has a -4 to be hit by melee weapon combat due to parries. 
  2. Heightened Expertise: +4 to hit with his sword and unarmed combat. 
  3. Special Requirement: the nature of his bionics means that he constantly needs to be in motion to power his generatively-threaded neurology. Even when he's sitting he's shifting his position, moving his arms, half dancing with his legs, etc. If he is completely restrained he can't regain Power Potential and starts losing 1d6 Power per action. When he's at 0 power he's in intense pain, taking 1 HP damage per hour until death. 
  4. Bionics: he has 5 bionic systems due to reconstruction by his old boss.
    1. Generatively-threaded neurology: his body generates energy by moving, and that means he has a +16 Endurance, a +4 strength, and he doesn't sleep. (When he goes on long walks/swims he will 'dream', but he's never not aware of his environment). 
    2. Speed Bonus: +50" on his swimming speed. Swim speed is normally just your S score, but he can swim as fast as he can run, which is fast. 
    3. Diamond-blade sheath teeth/enhanced jaw: His teeth look normal but he can extend shiny razor sharp edges. These give him +1 to hit and +1d2 damage, but more importantly when he makes an attack with them he ignores structural rating. It will never destroy more than 1 cubic foot of something, but he can bite through nearly anything. 
    4. The Sawsword: an apparatus running under his skin and along both arms, this contains a modular blade that resembles a sawshark's weapon. His parrying with this mechanism (the outside edges of his upper arm, and then past the elbow twisting around the lower arm to terminate at the inner wrist) gives him the Bionics defense type. He can extend this from either wrist as any length of blade - once extended it's magnetically held in place as a straight blade, it doesn't whip about -and the damage done depends on what length he has extended. He can have from +4 to hit/+1d4 damage (dual knives), +3/+1d6 (dual short swords), +2/+1d8 (long sword and knife), and +1/+1d10 (two handed sword). The Sawsword's sharpness is such that with a special attack he can ignore the structural rating of a device or item he hits, making it almost certain to be cut in half.
    5. Bloodsense: He makes like this is an enhanced sense of smell, but this is actually part of the electromagnetic array of his bionics; his senses are tuned so he can sense the presence of the iron in people's blood. This triples his detects to avoid surprise, and with a d20 save vs I can track people whose presence he has been in within the last 15 minutes. This is x5 (or at +4 to track) if the person is bleeding. 
Weight: 210             Basic Hits: 5    Agi Mod: +0
S: 15        E: 27        HP: 53            
A: 21        I: 16          Pow: 79          
C: 15                        Move: 63" ground or 65" swimming
Accuracy: +4, or +8 unarmed or with his sword/teeth, plus weapon accuracy
Damage Mod: +3
Reactions Mod: +2
Carrying Cap: 520    HTH: 1d8
Inventions: He's not so much a theme-based gimmick inventions sort of guy, but his bloodsense ability came from him tuning his own bionics. Other inventions would be similar modifications to his bionic systems.

Background/Origin: Geoffrey Hardesty started his career as a thug at a KRAKEN cell in the Caribbean focused on bio-science. He was chief of security when something happened (battle with a super-hero? a different criminal organization? KRAKEN civil war) led to him being badly injured, and his bosses operated on him to save his life. Grateful for his new abilities he still jumped ship, entering the Havana Mob and quickly becoming a major force. 

The Havana Mob are the remnants of the Cuban mafia that spread across the Caribbean and passed along their organizational techniques and secrets. While none of the originals are left, the now all native Caribbean criminals identify themselves with the phrase "Next Year in Havana". Their awareness of the tropes and codes of the US mafia let The Havana Mob earn their way into the Syndicate in New Salem (but not without a lot of blood and effort). That they had their own connections and smuggling routes with the drug cartels in Central America didn't hurt.

Now Hardesty, the Bahamian Sawshark, oversees drugs and protection rackets across the Bowery and Francis Park. All the criminals we've discussed so far report up to him, making a neat triangle of the New Salem Conspyramid. This makes him extremely dangerous. If he is ever taken out his second in command will immediately take over with the same title, just using a more traditional sword. 


  1. Hee! I like the way the theme is carried through his abilities, in -mostly- subtle ways (until he starts swimming around and biting people, at least).

    The "completely ignores toughness" ability feels like a problematic absolute. Sure, it works to give a sense of how his ability works, but what if he runs up against a (probably PC-held) weapon made of unobtanium? I feel like you could get the same flavor and usual effect while having a better guideline for what trumps what if it were "ignores all toughness of items it hit below 15 Toughness" (or whatnot such that it establishes a hardness floor below which he can break anything almost trivially and above which he can be surprised that something is nearly immune to his attacks because it's the equivalent of Cap's shield or whatnot).

  2. Yeah, that's a bit of an issue. I'm modeling it after the V&V disintegration ray, power, which also ignored Structural Rating and vaporizes its targets, but the effect on someone's Super-Alloy (the term in V&V) gear is kind of glossed over.

    I may edit this later