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Hello everyone. I have played Simple Superheroes / Superheroes Unleashed at the past two Cangames here in Ottawa, and it is a lot of fun. I first played as "Cornerstone" (a sort of "ultimate tank" earth elemental, a "Swamp Thing" / Ben Grimm hybrid if you will), and this year as "The Gray Fog" in the Heroes by Gaslight adventure (an old-style mystery man, with the power to produce and become a cloud of vapour or fog).
If you have been to the old forum, you may have seen Joshua s post on Reactive Talents, citing Cornerstone as an inspiration for this addition to the game. I am proud to have helped contribute to the development of the game in some small way. I have been meaning for quite a long time to respond to that with the fully-written out version of the character, to show what my intentions were at the time. Well, here we are, as made from the Simple Superheroes E0.72 version:
Identity: Terrence “Terry” (“Ratty”;) O’Connell
Universe: Chalice City
2 – Active Stonebinding (see Description of Talents)
2 – Rooted to Ground (immovable object)
4 – Solid Stone (defensive),
3 – Life of Granite (+2 Lifepoints),
2 – Non-Organic (anti-poison, no need to eat)
4 – Passive Stonebinding (see Description of Talents),
3 – Super Strong
4 – Made of Stone
2 – The outdoor labyrinth on the grounds of St. Augustine’s Cathedral
2 – Father Michael O’Connell (Rector of St. Augustine’s, older brother, “Mikey”;)
1 – General "Order and calm"
Description of Talents:
Stonebinding (4/2): Cornerstone has the mystical power to “draw in”, or “cement” or “mortar” or “anchor” (whatever you’d like to call it) people and objects to him. The passive form (Might-4) of this power essentially prevents the escape of his foes, pulls them towards him to prevent their attacking his allies or bystanders, restricts motion and perhaps even hampers Mobility powers; the active (Accuracy-2) can be used to nullify powers that manipulate physics against space (telekinesis, teleportation). Note: this power has no particular visual effect, other than that of enemies visibly struggling against a pulling force.
Super Strong (Might-3): As the name says. Keep in mind when playing, between being very heavy, enough to slow his motion down, and his concern for what he could accidentally do with his power, he should not be actively striking with his strength; use to lift objects, support/delay structural collapses, or restrain powerful foes by grappling.
Solid Stone (Toughness-4): Cornerstone is rather hard to hurt, much less damage.
Life of Granite (Toughness-3): Cornerstone has 2 extra Lifepoints from being made of durable material.
Non-Organic (Toughness-2): As a being made from animated stone, Cornerstone is not concerned about food, water or air (generally), and is considerably less vulnerable to substances that damage organic material such as poisons.
Rooted to Ground (Mobility-2): Besides being hard to hurt, he’s also hard to knock down or push around. This is not just because he is very heavy, or knows how to brace against a strike; it is part of his mystical power to stabilize his immediate area (see Stonebinding, above).
Terry O’Connell was a small-time hood who wished to be the “big man”; sadly, he got his wish.
Growing up poor, short and with a chip on his shoulder, Terry “Ratty” O’Connell drifted into bad company despite the best efforts of his mother and older brother Mikey, and fell into a life of delinquency and petty crime at a young age. Although he would at times cross the line into actual stick-up jobs and thuggery, enough to gain attention as a semi-useful (if not particularly bright) pawn, he managed to escape from truly serious consequences. Nevertheless, the frustrated young ne’er-do-well craved respect.
Foolish enough to believe an offer of being “made” by people he wasn’t familiar with, Terry attended the midnight ritual of an obscure cult in an abandoned and dilapidated “clubhouse” with a dark history. Wishing to rebuild it as their own base of operations, the cult’s leader drugged Terry and sacrificed him in the manner of the “foundation stone” rite of ancient times.
Their intention was to enslave his spirit into the structure to give it, and them, the power to fortify the building against attack. Instead, his spirit flowed into the rock underneath, animating it into a monumental humanoid form, and activating the mystical power to bind and still the cultists in time for the arriving police (having known of Terry’s plans, now-Father Michael had summoned the police to raid the clubhouse). Finding Terry’s corpse, the cult members were charged with homicide, and the bewildering new addition to the superbeing community was released into his brother’s care after a thorough debriefing by the superagent Zero, who decided to take pity and a sizeable chance on the shaken but sincere monolith’s character. *
Awed by his power, repentant of his past and guided spiritually by Father Michael, Terry—now “Cornerstone”—has dedicated himself to the good order and safety of the city, hoping to re-build his life on a new foundation. In spite of everything, Cornerstone affects an air of gentle humour and quiet concern over the remnant of his formerly devil-may-care personality.
* The above characterization of Zero is derived from the designer’s portrayal of him during my gaming session with him at Cangames 2012. In that portrayal, Zero appeared to be fairly friendly with Cornerstone as an established hero and ally of “Brother Sullivan”, another well-known local entity (and fellow PC).