CoX: Robyn Hoodie

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.


“Fun things to do on a date? Crimes.”

The Etoile’s society is fundamentally a sequence of parasites; very small groups of people produce useful work, and other people steal it. In the process, that theft sheds value onto other people, the traders and thieves and fences and snitches that lead to Superscience Flange Coil getting from point A to point B.

There aren’t a lot of public work projects, especially when all the money is moving valuable super science stuff to the University in Cap Au. That’s what got Robyn started – robbing from the rich and scattering their ill-gotten gains in the street. It’s simpler: No need for a fence when a thousand people are holding the stolen goods.

Where did she get those wonderful toys? Well, she stole them.

Robyn Hoodie is the name of a renowned rogue in Cap Au Diable who is known for doing heists of superscience material in transit, and dumping the majority of the haul in major public areas. As a result it’s very hard to work out if she took anything from the haul, since pieces get stolen and re-fenced all around by people in the area. It’s a form of success through obscurity; she’s not trying to make a huge pile of money by stealing small, valuable things, but instead advance herself by disrupting major transports, and steal a variety of useful things. The result is getting a lot of material and contraband into the hands of the community around Cap Au Diable, Robyn having a steady access to expensive supplies that let her then do high-value jobs on commission.

Basically, she’s a thief, who relies on three ideas; one, that it’s always going to look morally and ethically acceptable to steal from literal evil super scientists; two, that stealing a little and getting away is safer and better than stealing a lot and running, and three, that the state’s tools for stopping an inconvenience are themselves, only able to meet the level of that inconvenience.

Think of her as a robber princess — a tech expert whose tech of choice is that particular period of 90s pre-wireless tech, where things plug into themselves or have direct power supplies, and where not being on the internet was a default. Where things didn’t turn on unless you could physically press a button or flip a switch. It’s the digital and super science version of being really into welding; it’s all less convenient, but that inconvenience brings strength.

If you know her as a person, you’d know, amongst other things, that her name isn’t Robyn, and she doesn’t wear a hoodie. She is a great big communist, but it’s kind of easy to be a communist who believes in socialist ideas of overthrowing and dethroning the state when you live in a fascist hellscape overseen by a literal kakistocracy.

Right?

It means there’s a small inner circle of other rebels in the Etoile who know her – either in or out of her identity – and they work with her with bigger threats. She doesn’t necessarily see herself as a hero who leads the charge against big, impressive threats, but she absolutely has dropped leads to other heroes who focus on those big-scale threats, and as a result, shown up in the background of people doing things like toppling the Moonbeast as it rampages across Paragon City.

What she does in most scenes is gadget stuff. Not hacking, not computer things – if you want her to open a secured door in a bank she’s going to listen to the lock or blow it off its hinges. Hacking computer systems is hard, and what’s more, being able to do it opens you up to them, something she prefers to not do. In a lot of ways, she’s the incarnation of that meme about tech workers versus tech enthusiasts: She has one networked device in her house, it’s a printer, and she keeps a gun next to it in case it makes a weird noise.

Mechanics

Robyn Hoodie is a Traps/Archery defender. She cannot heal party members, and even skipped the regeneration-boosting power Triage Beacon. Her job is very much support, where she fires off a small number of debuff powers depending on what the situation demands — Poison Trap for big targets with regeneration, Acid Mortar if I’m trying to increase the team’s damage on a single hard target, Seeker Missiles if she’s dealing with a dense crowd on her own. Her always-on powers, though, are Force Field Generator, Maneuvers, and Assault, which are just passive improvements to defense and damage.

As for the way she’s built?

Robyn’s build is absurd. I’m really proud of it, partially because it’s so cheap and it can do so much, and the results are so good. Defenders are already strong, and the Traps powerset was originally designed for the micromanaging Mastermind. The result is a lot of tools that could be usefully deployed while you focused on doing other things, a sort of between-fights uptime kind of build.

Robyn’s overall summary is:

  • 46% defense to all positions and almost all types.
  • 42% defense to her ‘weak’ defenses of Fire, Cold, and Psionic
  • 75% Smashing and Lethal resistance
  • 160% global recharge, which is 10 seconds shy of permanent Hasten
  • 60% global damage buff solo, 30% in a team
  • The ability to spike those defenses up to around 70% for hot periods in incarnate content

I want to remind you that defense over 45% doesn’t do anything. She is overkilling almost every defense. The build that does this kind of thing is normally pushing for every advantage it can get in very available slot. In this case, though — her build is really open and flexible, and there are powers she’s taken and slotting she’s done to make the build work cheaply.

I opted to make Robyn’s build cheap and effective and it is exactly that. If she earned more money, I could amp her up and only gain things. Traps is such a powerful set, it’s kind of jawdropping.

If you want to look at the build, click here.

History

The original idea for this build was a character called La Beau. I liked the idea of that character – a transmasc archery gadget hero, who had an awakening about the identity he wanted when he donned a mask. The original idea was to use almost-identical costumes across gender for boymode and girlmode. This idea worked, but I didn’t find myself playing him much — he was just kind of a character whose hook was already done, and I didn’t have a good feel for where he was going.

Plus, the whole joke of the character was a deliberate juxtapositioning of a French gendering in the name – La being feminine, and Beau being masculine, as a sort of deliberate ‘here be genders,’ thing. Since I didn’t understand French very well and I had to explain the joke to people, it was a bit of a flop of a joke.

When I heard the idea of ‘Robin Hoodie’ – a modern urban Robin Hood type in a hooded jacket – I was immediately excited by it, and since I had an archer I wasn’t using, I started on that. And then I had the bright idea of making her a girl, because hey, hey, Robyn Hood, am I right, I bet that’s only been done a million times. I wound up finding that of the names available, Robyn Hoodie was there, and I jumped on it.

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