CoX: Poisonberry

This is an explanatory writeup of one of my Original Characters (OCs). Nothing here is necessarily related to a meaningful fiction you should recognise and is shared because I think my OCs are cool and it’s cool to talk about OCs you make.

A highly stylised and abstracted image of a white femme wearing a bodysuit and leather jacket, in a cityscape surrounded by leaves and roses. Across her is written the word Poisonberry written in a permanent marker font.

She goes by Risty, and her surname, well, you’re not going to find it on her ID, because you don’t get to see her ID, because what are you, a cop? But she’s got a hero identity – Poisonberry – that she carries over from her runaway days, a name you’ll see tagged on New England underpasses.

Girl’s a metronome, wildly swinging from withdrawn, sullen and snarling, to cocky, arrogant, and ten thousand percent. She may not think of herself as a superheroine, but she does know she’s sure as hell super.

Poisonberry is a mutant with ‘plant powers.’ The actual specific mechanisms of how her powers work would be great to study, but that would require studying her and that would involve getting her into some kind of lab or school, a thing that Risty seems aggressively against.

What Poisonberry can do and what everyone around her notices is the sprawling, rolling, constant vines around her and the toxic cloud of spores and vapor that trails her. She can fling poison from her hands, jetting it into enemies, and even uses the vines to construct an elaborate flying mechanism, like wings or a helicopter to fly.

As a person, she’s socially antisocial. Poisonberry wants to be surrounded by people, she wants to be around people, but she doesn’t want them to necessarily engage her. She moves around with crowds and hangs around but if ever asked to socially engage, she struggles and resents it – surly and snarling about how stupid some things are but still she shows up to see them.

Her biggest limitations are her poor teamwork skills. Risty is inclined to abandon things rather than work at them, and she doesn’t trust cops, or anyone she thinks likes cops. This is obviously a problem dealing with any kind of conventional, established superhero group, who will almost certainly not hate or resent the police.

Mechanical Details

Poisonberry is a Nature Affinity/Water Blast Defender. She’s level 50, she’s done a bunch of incarnate levelling solo, and she has a build that uh, well, look, it’ll show up in the bulleted list of standard stuff. She has:

  • Capped smashing and lethal resistance at 75%
  • 54% fire and cold resistance
  • 44%resistance to energy damage
  • 67% resistance to negative energy damage
  • 50% of her health as regular absorb
  • Very little defenses
  • Around 100% bonus damage, 92% of which is an AOE buff
  • 85% global endurance reduction
  • … 200% global recharge

I know! I know I know I know. That’s not with her incarnate Destiny power, either – she’s got a resting heartbeat of 200% global recharge, meaning that in the context of recharge she’s one of my fastest characters. Her Hasten has a recharge window of 30 seconds. She recharges Hasten so quickly, she can fire it off, change zones, fire it off again and the new hasten stacks, then move re-zone and get a third hasten stack. With this trick and Ageless fired she can hit the recharge cap.

That’s really silly.

The whole reason for this is because I wanted to have a character who could have Overgrowth on permanently. Overgrowth is a really powerful move. It’s an AOE buff that grants everyone (including Berry) 82% global damage buff, +20% tohit, and 75% endurance reduction. That’s absurd – like, the endurance reduction available to the Cardiac buff is only about 33% and it’s so good that once I have it I tend to never care about endurance reduction any more.

I did the math and found that you can get Overgrowth permanent with a high enough total recharge. To that end I pushed her build and spent the money to get her Overgrowth with five seconds of overlap.

Right now, can’t get build exports working, so poke me for it if you want to look at it directly.


There is so little here. Poisonberry is an unfortunate confluence of events that I am maddened by.

Mechanically speaking, Poisonberry is an amazing support character. She can add a lot to a large group of characters. She can make low level characters’ endurance problems go away. She can take lowbies on her high level missions and make their experience really good, and they can speed up her missions. She is a support platform. In the context of the game, her capacity seems, to me, absurd.

And I have never seen it in action.

I cannot think of a time I have ever taken Poisonberry on a large team. She’s never roleplayed with anyone. She has been on an Imperius Task Force and it was a rocket ride through but of course, it was also a point where everyone around me was also armed to the gills so it was hard to notice what she was good at doing.

This is an example of a thing I can do that is a bit of a problem: I can get hung up on an idea and then flesh that idea out enough that the result is a very solidly defined, clearly outlined nugget of a character that then has nowhere specific to go. She’s a mutant, she’s a runaway, she’s not a joiner, but what does that even mean?

There’s no background here. I know that she’s a bit of a brawly goon, I know she’s a punk. I don’t know her friends, I don’t know if her powers relate to her relationship to people’s bodies. Is she Poison Ivy? Is she Rogue? What’s my reference frame for this character? But all I have is the backwards of her – the mechanical capacity to generate a huge buff for a large group and nothing to actually make that happen or give people roleplay hooks to play with her.

Curse me and my back-assward character building!

Also, her name? I love her name so much but I wonder if it’s just too cute. Like for me, Boysenberry is the flavour you only hear associated with a type of ice cream, but it’s really good. It’s sweet and it’s tart, and it’s really something I like. It’s a sharp flavour, but you have to get used to it. Look, it was an idea I was so proud of.

I also don’t know why her name is Risty. I think I was literally looking for nonstandard names, names that still showed up in like babyname books that didn’t have an obvious derivation I could work from.

Think about who your OCs want to connect to! Don’t wind up like this!