Quote: “Take from the rich, give to poor old me!”
I never did an origin story for Geoffrey Braun aka the Robbin’ Hoodlum. He’s sort of a Green Arrow (DC Comics) or Hawkeye (Marvel Comics) gone wrong, committing robberies with the aid of his crossbow and trick bolts. He’s got a bit of the Green Hornet in him, too, in that he uses non-lethal weaponry to commit his crimes. After all, it is much more satisfying to taunt an opponent while escaping with ill-gotten loot than to kill him. Success is the best revenge. The Robbin’ Hoodlum also refuses to endanger bystanders while perpetrating his outrages or while attempting to escape afterward.
Early in his career, the Robbin’ Hoodlum performed his capers with the aid of associates he called his “Merrie Men.” These goons, each an expert in a particular type of crime, were costumed and nicknamed to parallel Robin Hood’s companions. Braun ultimately elected to work alone; his less-competent henchmen often wound up behind bars, and he found he really didn’t like sharing the proceeds of a successful job. The death of his “Maid Marian” while the gang was frantically eluding Federal authorities may have played a role in his decision as well.
He’s a skilled actor, burglar, hand-to-hand combatant, marksman, and safe-cracker, but Braun’s unusual abilities derive from his equipment. His crossbow-like weapon fires projectiles that release knockout gas, impenetrable fog, or expanding, entangling nets. Robbin’ Hoodlum can also use it to fire mini-grapnel lines that allow him to swing almost 50 feet. His garish costume (pumpkin orange tunic and hose covered by Lincoln green jacket, topped by feathered shooter’s cap) is lightly armored.
To date, Robbin’ Hoodlum has sometimes been thwarted but has never been captured. His identity, which he never revealed to his Merrie Men, is as yet unknown to the authorities. Since he is a master of disguise, the Robbin’ Hoodlum’s vaguely Errol Flynn-ish visage is probably not his true appearance.
Hit Points: 23 (CON+SIZ)
Damage Bonus: +1D4
Armor: 6 kinetic, 3 heat, 3 electric (costume)
Attacks: Brawl 55%, 1D3+1D4; Grapple 55%, 1D3+1D4; Gas Bolt 55%, 4D6 POT vs. Target’s CON; Net Bolt 55%, Entangle
Skills: Appraise 46%, Climb 55%, Disguise 48%, Dodge 55%, Drive 20%, Fast Talk 51%, Fine Manipulation 52%, Hide 51%, Jump 54%, Listen 35%, Martial Arts (Tae Kwon Do) 43%, Perform (Acting) 46%, Perform (Mimicry) 47%, Projection 55%, Research 35%, Sleight of Hand 46%, Spot 35%, Stealth 52%
Powers: Gas Projection, 6 levels, 4D6 POT, 3 meter radius volume, 15 meter range, 12 energy per use (18); Darkness, 4 levels, 5 meter radius, 15 meter range, no energy cost (15); Snare Projection, 6 levels, 15 meter range, 1 energy per use (18); Armor (12); Leap (Swinging), +14 meters to Jump (7); Extra Energy, +170 (17)
Failings: Hunted by the FBI +3, Code vs. killing +3
Notes: 81 power points plus 6 for Failings, total 87; 500 skill points plus 120 personal skill points, total 620. 20 skills = 31 points each
The Darkness and Gas Projection powers are from the Worlds of Wonder version of Superworld. The powers in the Big Gold Book are fine as far as they go, but there are only so many of them. I had to get creative on Braum’s grapnel line power. Swinging is an ability featured in Hero System but not in BRP.
The BRP version of Robbin’ Hoodlum is actually more competent than his Hero System (3rd edition) incarnation. He’s got a broader range of options with his crossbow, and a wider range of skills. The Champions version had an outrageously high DEX and the equivalent of BRP’s Super Speed. (Such elevated characteristics were common in the games I participated in at the time.) Since BRP encourages characters with more normal physical abilities, my Silver Age villain had more resources to become an effective thief.
A change of pace with the crossbow, instead of a longbow. Your coming up with a "Swinging" power just reinforces my thought that 95% of the time you can make the old WoW Superworld game work to create most any character.
Reminds me that I have some notes on a slinger hero/villian, that I was going to call either The Sidonian Slinger, or maybe Slingstone. The usual array of special "stones" of course, with explosive, gas, and entangle for starters.
Though a more deadly weapon than given credit for in most gaming systems (though a good weapon in BRP) it is just not as "sexy" as a crossbow or longbow. I suppose reading the story of Xenophon on his march to the sea has helped shape my impression of the slinger.