CoX — Abra

Time to time, I write up an explication of characters I’ve played in RPGs or made for my own purpose.  This is an exercise in character building and creative writing.


Antimatter Breach Resonance Apeture; a phrase first coined in a 1500 page scientific paper about an organically-integrated chemical engine that could create portals limited to the surface of that organic object.

ABRA: The military research program seeking to develop technology that would allow self-deploying mass-driver weapons, objects that teleported themselves and massively increased in volume upon arrival.

Abra: The boy caught up in the experiments designed to make that research real, with that self-same technology integrated into his body.

Abra doesn’t remember much about how things were for him. He remembers some vague ideas — school life, some details about a family he doesn’t remember well enough and strange, traumatic shards that make him want to avoid learning more — but mostly, he’s a guy whose story starts with a labratory breakout. He’s pretty confident that what happened to him in the lab changed him — not just because of the teleporting powers, but because he’s pretty confident that he didn’t always exist as a fuzzy blue imp boy with a tail and horns.

He’s pretty sure.

Abra likes to have fun, and he likes to have a sense of fun. Not a strong planner, he relies on a lot of improvisation, which is something you can do when your powers let you teleport in and out of problems. When you can land a punch that breaks reinforced concrete, it can be hard to permanently impede him.

Abra’s teleportation powers seem to rely on him being able to see something, a sort of line-of-sight thing, but he’s also capable of extreme long jumps (he calls ’em ‘catapults’) to extremely well-known locations to him. This can obviously make him very hard to properly contain, which just means that enemies rarely try and capture him if they’re aware of how his powers work and instead shoot to kill. Because of that he’s very keen to keep people in the dark about how his powers work, and even distributes fake rumours about his powers’ limitations.

The lack of planning and forethought, and the sheer destructive force of his ability as a fist-fighting teleporter does mean that Abra likes to imagine himself as the cavalry — teleporting into a location and out again as quickly as he can, possibly after interrupting something violent.

Abra’s powers aren’t even limited to teleporting himself — he’s referred to ‘holing’ enemies — dragging them up and into his personal space where he can continue to punch them.

Obviously his powers are incredibly flexible. The limit on them tends to be very tangible limits of perception. He can be out-stealthed, he can be knocked unconscious (and kept there with drugs), and if he doesn’t see it coming, he can be struck from range. At the same time, he doesn’t have a support network of heroes he works with, and his powers make him very likely to flee from a surprise rather than engage it.

Boy’s got trust issues.

Mechanics

Abra’s build is a beast. Like, I actually feel a tiny bit bad about how good it is at what it does because there’s very little content I do with friends that actually warrants the kind of thing he can do.

Abra is a single-target damage machine. Highly comparable to a stalker in terms of focus, he also has the luxury of an even better base line of damage and a much faster play pattern. Where a stalker does need to weave in Assassins Strikes to keep their optimal attack pattern, Abra just keeps hitting people.

The build is expensive, too; I clearly wanted this to be good, and the result is pretty eyewatering:

  • 45% or more defense to Melee, Ranged, and AoE, aka ‘Soft-Capped.’
  • 25%+ resist to smashing, lethal, fire and cold damage
  • Resting regeneration rate of 230% base
  • Basically bottomless endurance
  • Permanent hasten and 190% global recharge
  • 30% global damage buff
  • A self-heal for half his health that fires every 14 seconds

And that’s just his, as it were, resting heartbeat. When he’s fighting, chances for critical hits get involved, combo patterns happen, and there’s also the way his Assault Radial incarnate power gives him effectively another set of chances for crits. He’s hard to kill and while you’re trying to kill him, odds are good he’s either avoiding you or pulling your head off.

The build is pretty ridiculous. You can get a link here.

At the last time I was really familiar with these rules, the single most damage a non-sneak attack attack in attack in City of Heroes could do was a critically hit, combo-level 3 Crushing Uppercut from a scrapper. When we got Homecoming and Scrappers got access to Ninjutsu, I learned that attacks made in its stealth had an increased chance of crit, I whipped up a build to test it out. The resulting build was amazing fun to play with.

We also got a new macro option – the ability to code into an attack, ahead of time, the way it should target, which meant that some rain or summon powers could be sped up. At the time, I used this with Teleport, the travel power, to blink up into enemy’s faces. You could use this with queueing — you fire off Combat Readiness, then use the teleport bind, and while the teleport animation is firing, you press Crushing Uppercut.

In practice, this meant Abra was a nightcrawler type, but rather than a tricksy sneaker type, like Nightcrawler, Abra is sneaky until he hits you like a truck. This worked really well with the super-science nonsense of density control. You know, he can make his fist really heavy when he’s already got it moving.

Then they gave me Combat Teleport, which is a much faster casting Teleport you can use to zap between people in a team situation, which felt a bit like someone giving me, specifically, a gift.

These teleport binds look like this:

/macro_image "Teleportation_TeleportFoe" "Combat Teleport" "powexec_location target Combat Teleport"
/bind ctrl+2 "powexec_location target Combat Teleport"

History

Abra is a bit of an orphan of the between times. I made him to explore something mechanically, and didn’t have a group to work with for him. As a result, he’s been made, levelled to 50, done a bunch of incarnate and late-game content… and he hasn’t made many friends yet.

It’ll happen, I’m sure. I mean he’s adorable and he’s fun to play.