Character du Jour: Max Rourke

“What’s to say about Rourke that hasn’t already been spat out the mouth of crooks? Sure, he wasn’t the best cop on the force, but he was by far the most determined. That was his downfall. He couldn’t let go.”

“Max’s talent is for getting information by any means necessary. Stay on his good side and his smile and easy manner would win you over. If that didn’t work…….. well, to say he’d become a changed man. I’ve known him walk a crook into an interrogation room sharing a laugh and patting his shoulder, then leave nursing his knuckles while the crook was carried back to his cells. We were picking teeth outta the walls for months.”

“I’m glad he’s off the force. But I’m still glad he’s out there putting the bad guys in their place. Only now we got less paperwork to deal with.”

Max is a tough cop turned private eye. He’s left his old life behind with no love lost on either side, but still knows his way around the system. Neither he nor his methods were exactly popular on the force, but out on the street his brand of tough love makes him popular with folks who feel the need for his services.

He’s in his late 30s and keeps himself fit enough without looking overly buff. The overall impression he strives to give is that he’s your average-looking easy-going friend. If that doesn’t work though, things get ugly fast. He’s very good at making the switch when they least expect it, and always gets results. Somehow.

Dirty little secret: Max enjoys hurting people, and he secretly hopes his “good cop” act doesn’t work  The force knew what they were doing when they booted him.

Notes: Morally ambiguous characters. I love ’em. Here’s a guy who does good, but in a very bad way. D&D would pin him as Lawful Neutral but that doesn’t nearly go far enough. Hero or villain? You decide.

Here’s a Mutants & Masterminds character right down at Power Level 3. This is Law & Order territory where ultra-gritty crime dramas thrive. By comparison, I’d put CSI with it’s stupid over-acting and 23rd century technology around Power Level 4 or 5. At Power Level 3 you’ve just got 45 points to play with so each one has to count; there’s an emphasis on skills rather than flashy feats, and super-powers are the stuff of dreams. That’s not to say you can’t run a PL 3 supers game – I’ve done it – but the number of points mean a well-rounded character with super-powers is darned hard to do with the available points. Something like the Heroes TV series works well around PL 5 (75 points) with at least 50 points on their non-super-powered skills, traits and abilities. See the Paragons supplement for details. To turn Max into a Heroes-level character I’d bump stats, skills and combat ability, add a few feats like Benefit 1 (ex-cop) and Contacts (sympathetic hard-nosed cops) then give him Telekinesis (only when angry) and we’re done. Easy!

DAZ Studio + Photoshoppery

Max Rourke, PL 3 45pp
Str 13, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 16
Tough +2./+5, Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +2
Attack +1 (Unarmed +3 DC 16), Defense +1, Grapple +2, Init +1

Bluff +6, Concentration +2, Drive +4, Gather Info +8, Intimidate +6, Investigate +6, KS:Streetwise +6, Notice +3, Sense Motive +4, Stealth +6
Attack Specialization 1 (Light Pistol & Unarmed), Diehard, Equipment 2

Undercover Vest, Light Pistol (+3 DC 18)

Max Rourke, Heroes version, PL 5 75pp
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 16
Tough +3/+6, Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +3
Attack +3 (Unarmed +5 DC 17), Defense +3, Grapple +5, Init +1

Bluff +6, Computers +3, Concentration +3, Drive +6, Diplomacy +6, Gather Info +8, Handle Animal +4, Intimidate +8, Investigate +8, KS:Streetwise +8, Notice +6, Search +6, Sense Motive +9, Stealth +6, Swim +3
Attack Specialization 1 (Light Pistol & Unarmed), Benefit 1 (ex-cop), Contacts, Diehard, Equipment 2

Undercover Vest, Light Pistol (+5 DC 18, 30′)

Telekineses 8 (only when angry, 80′)
– AP: Blast 4 (+3 DC 19, 40′)

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