Character du Jour: Math-Whizz
If I could only persuade someone to run a Mutants & Masterminds game set in the Kick-Ass universe, this would be my character. Say hello to Math-Whizz!
Poor Sammy Tomkins. Cleverest boy in school, and all round bully magnet. Some kids get picked on for their pocket money – Sammy gets picked on for being Sammy. At least, he was until Bodger and his gang chased him into an alleyway, and Something Happened. Sammy saw the math of the situation, right there: the angles and vectors of it all. He grabbed a trashcan lid and let fly. It launched from his hand and hit Bodger square on the nose, bounced off into a gang member then ricocheted into a third. The rest fled, followed by the awed and bloodied Bodger. They’ve kept their distance since then.
Math-Whizz was born, and Geometry is his battleground.
Since that day Sammy has found a renewed passion and has gained remarkable grades not just in Math, but also in Metalwork and Sports (much to the surprise of his teachers, who had written him off long ago). His pride and joy is The Equalizer, a collapsible and mathematically perfect shield of his own devising. It fits snugly hidden inside his backpack with his books, calculator and his dad’s binoculars.
Wherever there is crime, Math-Whizz is ready for some Subtraction Action!
Notes: I’d set Kick-Ass around Power Level 4. Characters aren’t even up to sidekick (PL6) standard but can pull off some awesome stunts for being nothing more than a bunch of dorky losers. These are guys who will fall and sprain their ankle one minute then see off a load of mobsters the next. It’s tempting to go lower (perhaps even PL 2) but PL 4 feels to me to strike the balance between cinematic and low-powered just right.
Math-Whizz is Captain America, ultra-lite. Armed with The Equalizer he can use its sharpened edge to fight in close quarters or lob it with a 50’ range and ricochet off surfaces or enemies. The mathematically perfect design even allows it to deflect bullets back to their source, so it’s a foolish mook indeed who lets rip against him. Without his shield though, he’s a punching bag.
I’ve added the fact that he’s “just a kid” as a complication, and whenever that comes into play (school night, out of pocket money so can’t repair his suit, babysitters, coming against foes who laugh at him and hold him upside down by his ankles, etc) he gains a Hero Point. Those things are all-important currency in a Mutants & Masterminds game.
Dirty little secret: Sammy’s mom ran off with a bad man. A very, very bad man. Guess who the local crime boss is – and Sammy doesn’t know!
Math-Whizz AKA Sammy Tomkins, PL4 60pp
Str 8, Dex 13, Con 11, Int 14, Wiz 13, Cha 12
Tough +0/+2, Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +6
Attack +0 (+4 w/Shield), Defense +6, Init +1
Acrobatics +5, Climb +4, Computers +7, Craft:Mechanical +5, Craft:Structural +5, Disable Device +4, Investigate +4, KS:Tactics +6, Notice +5, Stealth +5
Attack Specialization 2 (Shield), Defensive Attack, Improved Block 2, Improvised Tools, Equipment 1
“The Equalizer” Shield (Device 4)
– Deflect 4 (Fast Projectiles, Reflection)
– Shield 5
– Strike 4 (+4 DC19, Thrown 50’, Ricochet, Split Attack)
Binoculars, Programmable Calculator, Padded Bodysuit
Complication: “He’s just a kid!”