Thursday, April 24, 2014

[Villains & Vigilantes] Puzzler Leaps Into Action Once Again!

As described in an earlier post, Puzzler has been my favorite go-to NPC for nearly every superhero RPG I've ever played for nearly 30 years. As a chaotic nuisance villain, he was always great fun to drop into a campaign to see how my PCs would handle the antics of this Ambush Bug / Deadpool "mentally cracked anti-hero." I described Puzzler's past exploits in the previous post, but presented here are his original V&V stats as best as I can remember. So here you go. Use him as a either a chaotic superhero in town to "help" your PCs with the newest threat. Or take him back to his early days as a pain-in-the-neck thief out for sh*ts-n-giggles at the player's expense. Enjoy!

Identity: Puzzler
Name: Wayne Matthews
Side: Good
Level: 8
Experience: 35,001
Sex: Male
Age: 39
Training: Agility

Heightened Agility A: +11 to Agility score
Heightened Intelligence A: +14 to Intelligence score
Device -- Armor B: Puzzler's costume is woven of a special impervious fabric of his own devising. The material is flameproof, bulletproof, and has a 93 Armor Defense Rating. The costume's question mark belt buckle also doubles as a grappling hook with 100 feet of retractable high-tensile cord.
Device -- "The Pencil": The Pencil is principally a hologram-projector that can project a wide range of illusions that have been pre-programmed into it. It has the following abilities:
    Psionic Illusions -- Puzzler can fire a hypnotic crossword pattern at a target which envelops them. Overwhelmed by the cascading black and white squares, the target will be "hypnotized" into inaction. They are allowed a saving throw versus INT to "snap out" of the trance.
    Visual/Audible Illusions -- Puzzler can project a realistic 3D image that looks and sounds real. Due to the sizable number of preprogrammed images, anything Puzzler wishes to project should be considered available.
    Power Blast -- Puzzler can fire all of the power within The Pencil in one massive blast. This attack drains The Pencil and does 2d20 damage to the target. The Pencil must be recharged for 24 hours after this attack (used as a last resort).
     HTH Weapon -- The Pencil is incredibly sturdy and has been used as a clubbing weapon, a thrown spear-like weapon, a polearm, a quarterstaff, etc. Puzzler has trained extensively on how to use The Pencil as a hand-to-hand weapon, and can fight and defend himself quite readily with it.
Mental Immunity: Due to Puzzler's chaotic grasp on reality, he is immune to most forms of mental attack including mind control, psionics, weakness detection, etc. If a mental link with Puzzler is attempted, such as mind reading and telepathy, the mentalist will be overloaded by the imagery and will be stunned for 3 rounds.
Weakness: Low Self-Control: Puzzler will do and say anything that pops into his head at any given moment. He has to focus to keep from making an ill-timed joke or silly comment, even during times of combat or those requiring silence or stealth. Any time a situation calls for self-control and mental focus, the GM should roll a d6. On a 1 or 2, Puzzler will instead do the most outlandish thing he can think of in that moment.

Weight: 210     Basic Hits:  5    Agility Mod: --
Strength: 13     Endurance: 16
Agility: 28     Intelligence: 31
Charisma: 19     Reactions from Good: +3 Evil: -3

Hit Mod: (1.2) (1.8) (1.7) (2.8) = 4.23
Hit Points: 22  
Damage Modifier: +5     Healing Rate: 2
Accuracy Modifier: +5     Power: 88

Carrying Capacity: 398 lbs.     Base HTH Damage: 1d8
Movement Rate: 57
Detect Hidden: 22%     Detect Danger: 26%
Invention Points: 12.8    Inventing %: 93%

Origin and Background: As a child, Wayne Matthews developed a split personality, one that used jokes and chaos to shield himself from an abusive family. As he grew, Matthews became a brilliant scientist and inventor working in the fields of optics and hologram technology. Later, as an adult, Matthews was attacked by thugs, and his split personality returned with a vengeance. After trouncing the roughs, Matthews spied a newspaper crossword puzzle blowing through the alley and, taking the moniker "Puzzler," began a life of chaotic thievery and general public mischief. He later "made peace" with his dual nature, and Puzzler offered to fight crime to make amends for past misdeeds. Puzzler has been a member of the Northcoast Guardians as well as the national superteam known as Vanguard. Always the entertainer, Puzzler now enjoys the public accolades he gets from the public,though his teammates often have difficulty keeping him focused on the task at hand. Matthews is also a brilliant inventor, creating many gadgets and devices for the teammates of any group he's associated with.

Legal Status: Reformed criminal; now works in conjunction with gov't-recognized crime-fighting teams.
Security Clearance: Level 11 (though always monitored while in a secure area just to be safe)


  1. Oh Hell, that costume alone sells it for me! I always like seeing a character that's been used in and has a history form actual games. Very cool.