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.
“Ey! Ey you! What’s your matter, eh!?”
They say that Sharkhead kids bite first. It’s a rough town with rougher industries, overseen by outsiders from St Martial and Grandville. Fact is, Sharkhead’s people have to grow up quick and grow up mean, scavengers and scroungers, trying to find some way to wind up in one of the least bad lives.
Fallon’s day job was to shift crates. And the most common thing they shifted was coral from many mining operations around Sharkhead. Do it long enough, inhale enough, and you’d wind up…
When Fallon found they could shapeshift into a coral-armoured coralax, they did what anyone else in the Etoile would do with deniability: Go smashing their enemies, while keeping it hidden.
If you worked with Fallon it was probably while still in the Etoile. They have come out of the Etoile to do some kind of fighting, but mostly because they want to beat down people who are threats to Sharkhead. Like, Monster Island, that’s an option, maybe going offshore to take out Sky Raiders, that kinda thing. But Fallon is a real homebody of Sharkhead — someone who gets into fights in the city of steel and teeth. Fancier places look down on them, rougher places don’t respect what they can do.
Thing is, you probably don’t know you’ve worked with Fallon. When Fallon is fighting, doing hero work, they aren’t visibly themselves; chunks of coral float up over their body, growing off buds on their shoulder, and turning them into a Coralax; pale blue, and armed with huge, jagged Coral fists and protected by more coral armour. Chunks break off and they regrow, with the beastly inhuman form of Riprap’s secret identity typically only communicating in the form of strange, bestial shrieks.
Their biggest and most obvious problem they have is communication. They don’t use sign language – they tend to try and only engage with things where it’s obvious what they’re doing; raiding locations, fighting people, picking things up and leaving with them. When fighting at range, they’re out of options, and instead tend to jump into the water, swimming away, which builds on a lot of people’s opinion that they’re just a dumb monster.
They’re not, they’re just a smart enough monster to never get caught.
Riprap is a Stone Armour/Stone Melee tanker, and their build hits these goals:
- 45%+ defense to Smashing, Lethal, FIre, Cold, Energy, Negative, and Psionic damage
- 62% resistance to Smashing and Lethal damage
- 85% resistance to Fire and Cold damage
- 75% resistance to Toxic damage
- 3,000+ HP compared to a Tanker’s base line 1800
- 20% increased damage
- Permanent Hasten, 172.5% global recharge
This build is expensive. They have Winter IO sets, a purple set, and a Tanker ATO set. These purchases are all because this is a build that I made to put under stress, so I could see what Stone/Stone could do. I almost wish that the build had room to pick up a Patron pool so they could have an additional Coralax that runs around with them.
This is a build that gets to do something I really like, though, which is invest in the Musculature Incarnate power. This adds to damage and endurance modification, a pair that works well if you don’t already have some way to hit the damage cap, and multiple powers that increase your endurance recovery. I like this, because I am very, very lazy about managing endurance.
If you’d like to look at Riprap’s build, you can check this data link here.
I made Riprap entirely to get some screenshots.
Two updates ago, Homecoming did an overhaul to Stone Armour and Stone Melee. I didn’t have a stone armour character to investigate it with, and I find that reading descriptions and playing in a builder program doesn’t really give me meaningful insight into how updates like this function in actual play. Rather than rely on those things, I decided instead to level a Stone/Stone character up to level 50 and explore how all the powers interacted. I built a character, used a look from my basket of costumes that were kicking around, levelled the character and that was that.
Since slots aren’t in high demand, then, I figured I’d work out a concept for the character, something that ‘worked’ and I’d get around to it. And, throwing the character into my big ole spreadsheet, I filled in some fields, just to make sure the character was different to other characters. At that point, I realised I didn’t have any ⨀ symbol gendered characters — I use that to represent a character that doesn’t use the ♀ and ♂ symbols. It’s catch-all — it includes robots that don’t have genders, or agender aliens, but also, importantly, nonbinary people.
Then last year, we got our update that gave us Prismatic Shards, and the ability to wear monster appearances as a character option, and an idea began to form. Because rock powers, sure, rock works out, that’s okay, but I feel like ‘rock’ is the most basic, simple version of the power you could do. And it’s a bit limiting. I got thinking about alternative ways to use the rock powers without just being a rock themed character. I got inspired by Sharkhead Island, a zone I’m very fond of, and decided to make a character whose powers related to the magical coral of Sharkhead, which animates big junk golems, and is tied into the power of the Coralax.
These pieces slot together nicely. Riprap’s Coralax appearance works with their powers. I had an absence of a gender, a starting location, and a gimmick: they’re a person who turns into a coral monster person. Since I didn’t delete them, I got to add another cool character concept to my roster, and made a rad nonbinary superhero who got to play in the rough, brawly space of Sharkhead, a zone I like.
Right now, Riprap doesn’t have a buncha friends or anything but it’s okay! They got a solid start! I dunno, maybe I’ll stick them in a group with Robyn Hoodie and they’ll be the tough monster character of that group of Vigilantes in the Etoile.