CoX: The 49th

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.


Nearly ten feet of solid, ice-cold, star-hot Canadian battle goddess, the woman known as The 49th remembers a world almost like, but not quite like, the one she’s in. Where she’s from, Canada was the dominant empire of the North Americas, not the USA. Where she’s from, humans tapped the power of stars to create champions. And where she’s from, things were a lot more polite and liberal on some topics.

In the event she knows as the Great Collapse, her world is gone – not only that, but it seems it never existed. A portal incident that has echoes throughout time. Still, she survived it, endured it – and now she’s here, on her own, building in her own time and space in this familiar-but-not-quite world.

The 49th is a standard model powerhouse superheroine, you know the sort. Flying, unkillable, extremely strong, fires big blasts of white star energy from her fists — extremely typical for the ‘flying brick’ type. Her powers aren’t particularly subtle nor are they very refined — most of what she can do is fight big things and fight very hard, surviving things that don’t hurt other people.

There’s a lot she can’t do — and for the most part, she is the ‘big problem blocker’ type of hero. When an alien fleet invades, she flies off to wreck its business, plugging volcanos, holding back giant robots. You know the kind of thing.

Lots of people have met her, dealt with her, and they’re the ones who get to learn that she is 100% as nice and kind as she’s renowned. There’s no subtle twist or clever secret problem there, no deep and abiding angst, just a big brown Canadian friend, who’s kind and nice and does what she can to support other heroes. There are lots of things she can’t do, but she does what she can to support other heroes.

The 49th, real name Peyton Mackenzie, is a woman who can’t really not be a full-time superheroine. When you’re as tall as she is, distinctly visually as she is, you don’t have a lot of alternatives. That means that her normal day-to-day duties are public community work, or she interrupts that work by shifting gear to her hero outfit and go bring her powers to bear on whatever that is.

Basically, she’s a big Canadian Superwoman analogue.

Which means, usually, she gets compared to Power Girl.

Mechanics

The 49th is a Peacebringer, but there’s a lot that needed to be changed from base to make her work.

To make her properly ‘tough’ I needed her to have enough global recharge for Permanent Light Form. Then I needed to get her some form of Mez Protection, which in this case I did with defenses and a bind to always keep Break Frees on hand. There needed to be some form of knockback protection as well, and on top of that I finally needed to layer that defense high enough to make her toughness work – after all, high resistance is great, but just on its own, you will get hit enough to push you down if you can’t make sure you have ways to recover it.

Oh wait I forgot one more thing, because Peacebringer attacks all do knockback, to make her not frustrating to play, I needed to make sure all her powers had a slot free to use the Knockback to Knockdown global.

The demands on this build are silly, and honestly, it’s not that worth it; you could do the same job with a tanker, but you wouldn’t get the same aesthetic. But I wanted to do it with a peacebringer, to see how it looked. It was an expensive build, because it needed to use Winter IO sets. On the other hand I haven’t looked at this in over a year, so maybe the build is cheaper now.

Peyton’s summary is:

  • 45% defense to Melee
  • 85+% resistance to everything
  • Permanent Essence Boost (so around 1800 hit points)
  • 170% global recharge (so permanent hasten and light form)
  • Reform Essence (50% of her health healed) every 15 seconds
  • A full attack pattern including three single-target melee hits, a melee AOE hit, and a ranged fireball style hit

It’s very reasonable to look at this and think it’s not particularly impressive, certainly compared to other characters I’ve shown off here. She’s tough, sure, but these numbers hit easy on a tanker, or, at least, hit easier and cheaper. Why the big deal here?

Well, it’s just that I’m proud of doing it with the shell that is the Peacebringer. Peacebringers aren’t very strong, but here is, in my opinion, a very strong peacebringer.

You can check her build out here.

History

When I look on the history of these characters, the ways I come to terms with them, there’s usually a story about how they work. In the 49th’s case, the story is less her story – which is pretty basic, and like, hey look, check it out, this character has a story a bit like Power Girl, or ‘Canadian Superman’ and it all makes sense.

In 49th’s case it’s much more about the duration of the tinkering for this character. She’s been a bunch of different characters, levelled up with different names, over time as I tried to find something to make the Peacebringer work for me. When we got text editing costumes, I tried to make her larger than the sliders let, and that didn’t work. She existed back on Live in different forms, fighting extremely hard to get defenses enough to protect her from mezzes. So often, there were changes to the Peacebringer, new systems introduced, game rules that adjusted a bit and I kept trying to make the Peacebringer work. At a certain point I realised she was a project — where I was so fond of the character she’d become that I was sinking time and effort into every single different version of this character, in the hopes of making the Peacebringer good, and making her my good Peacebringer.

No idea why.

Just one of those silly fixation things.

Ironically, the thing that holds her together is the way I was able to use the dark brown circle chest decal coupled with the brown skin tone let her have a Power Girl style boob window.

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