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Strobe Effect

by SD Anderson [102250.1425@CompuServe.COM]

A Special Enhancement for the Illuminate Super Power (+50%)

The character can make the light source pulse at variable speeds. If the strobe light is the primary source of light for anyone in it's area, penalties to vision from -2 to -8 are applied, the person using the power sets the penalty. If a steady source of light is available, the effect at best is an annoyance, quarter the penalty, round down and a penalty of 0 is certainly possible in brightly lit areas.

The strobe effect is most effective in its middle range though. Flickering images are retained by the retina/held in place by the same "visual editor" that eliminates the blind spot. The viewer focuses on the last position of anyone he or she is looking at and is somewhat disoriented when the next flash shows the person's new position.

This has two game effects. Defense rolls against melee attacks in 'middle ground' strobe light are at -5 and the likelihood of a critical failure is increased. Any roll of 15+ on melee actions is a critical failure. At -4 and -6, the defense penalty is -4 and crit failures occur on rolls of 16+. At higher and lower flicker rates only the lighting penalties apply.

Use the lighting condition modifiers only for ranged attacks and defenses against ranged attacks.

Here's an example character who uses the strobe enhancement:


Description: 7'5", 155 pounds; wingless, almost skeletal gargoyle. Eyes: Black (popped out almost like a frog's).

Attributes: ST 15; DX 16; IQ 11; HT 16. Total: 230

Speed/Move/Dodge: 8

Armor: DR 32 (10 normal / 22 ablative)


Powers: Skills: Disadvantages: Quirks: CHARACTER TOTAL: 1000 pts


Glare is the child of Charlie Manson and a Demoness who took the form of one of Manson's followers. Concieved while the "family" stayed in the ghost town of Panamint, he was raised by his mother largely out of the sight of men in the mountains that separate Death Valley from Panamint Valley. Those who did see the child would be lucky if 'Mama' decided to wipe their memories. More often they had far worse fates.

His name pretty much developed from what he does to activate his powers. He stares at something hard.

By the time the child was 8, he had lost most of his human appearance. Hewandered around at night, moving southwest to Searles Valley, stealing food and other desired items from residents in Pioneer Point and Trona. His mother watched over him for he most part then, rescuing him from the occasional captor causing people who'd seen him to forget what they saw or distort their memories.

As a teen, he'd dare the Navy base in the Southwestern section of the valley (strictly speaking an annex to the NAWS base at China Lake) for sport. The Naval personel there were better than the typical Searles Valley home owner. He was spotted, chased and had to fight his way out, killing 5 SPs.

The Navy has been hunting him ever since. Six years ago an all out campaign was waged against him. They failed to get him but destroyed his mother.

His Reputation is not so much about his person, it's a tendency to see verypowerful Super Powered attacks bounce and presume from that observation that ordinary weapons won't work. (This is aided by his DR. An incredibly strong Super punched him and nothing happened. Several SPs who were with the Super fired shots at Glare, which pinged harmlessly. (although his DR is partly ablative, it does not 'chip'.) Laser bolts and Lightning attacks have also been observed to be useless against him and to date no mundane damage has been done to him that was: a) powerful enough to get past his DR and b) been observed by anyone who lived to tell the tale, or remembered it if they survived, back when "Mama" was around.

Recently Glare has been approached by members of a supervillain team, who want to recruit him. He's considering the offer. If nothing else villains offer him a costume that won't be shredded after a fight with Super beings and thus he can keep his stuff in pockets. (It also adds to his DR, not a bad thing either.)

In addition to his abilities, Glare knows a fair amount about Hell it's environs because of his mother and this information can be useful to any magic based villains in the group.

Tactics: Glare can get nasty in hand to hand given his ST, Claws and defenses, at least amongst normal type DR'd characters, but prefers to use Shadows to do his dirty work. He stands back and Flashes his foes, and animates three shadows per attack given the rapid fire enhancement. (Remember though: he has none of his own.) They generally occupy his foes allowing him the luxury of concentrating his attacks on one enemy or going about his affairs unmolested.

With Illuminate on (3 minute duration) in strobe/multiple lightsource mode, it is very hard for someone to distinguish an animated shadow from one merely moving...

Where possible he will have his shadows double or triple team a foe, prefering to get a quick incapacitation and then a slow painful kill even when this is not tactically sound.

He'd just as soon put 3 shadows on one member of a group of heroes than deploy them to occupy the group as a whole. This leaves him open to them (in many cases not a problem due to his invulnerability) but often takes out one or two of the supers, occasionally this can kill the Super. Two or three shadows with 16 turn durations can swiftly put a normal fatigue hero down, and might be able to kill him if not stopped.

If not stopped they will kill their target, the shadows will not flee, will not negotiate, just attack.

He can resort to using his Shockwave if need be but will generally flash foes before making an escape. Since he can coordinate his Flash attack with Animate Shadow to animate one to three of the shadows produced by the flash this is an especially effective tactic.

His Invisibility and Matter Surfing powers only work at night. The special effect for Invisibility is blending into the darkness and he rides an animated shadow along surfaces for Matter Surfing. There is no "shadow residue" substance after he passes.

The shadow that he rides looks like him, and it may be that he can summon back his own shadow to transport him.

The special effect of his shockwave is "solidified light version of a Flash attack". Rather than blind a target the solid light tends to knock them down.