Forerunner was a character I created as a background character to explain why certain people got superpowers.
Secret ID: Dr. James Forester
Height: 5′ 11″ (approx)
Weight: 210 lbs. (approx)
Background: Dr. James Forester is, or rather, was one of the world’s greatest geneticists. However, his theories about the evolution of humanity into superhumanity, though seemingly being fulfilled by the superpowered beings today, were not accepted by most of his peers. Disappointed at his theory’s reception, he turned to finding a means of assisting the rest of humanity to achieve the superhuman level. He transformed his own genetics so that he could transform others’, turning them into superhuman beings. To ensure that no one ever duplicates his ability, which he fears will be for less philanthropic ends, he erased all knowledge of his work, including all knowledge of genetics, from his mind. He did retain or develop several skills that will allow him to operate in society, high or low; all the better to carry out his dream.
Personality: As Forerunner, Dr. Forester has become a very calm fanatic, obsessed with secretly spreading his gift of super powers to everyone in the world. Nothing, repeat, nothing, will deter him from his quest. He is quite impartial to whoever he gives power to, but he also has a sense of poetic justice. In the case of an obviously heinous individual, he will give them powers that they cannot use (for example: a rapist may receive the uncontrollable power of telepathy and empathy with his victims.)
Identifying Quote: “I am the forerunner of the humanity to come, when superpowers are the birthright of every human being.”
Powers: Forerunner can analyze the genetic pattern of any human or near human being he touches fleshötoöflesh, and induce a virus into this being, mutating their genetic structure and giving them super powers. He also can correct any mutation or any genetic disability such as Down’s Syndrome. Fortunately he has can only make so many changes before needing to rest so he has not had a chance to affect many people yet. He can also modify his own genetics, and through this, his own shape, to the point that he can look like almost anyone. He is fascinated with the concept of perfecting the human body, and will change his own shape to match whatever his notion of the ‘perfect’ human body will look like at that time. He may be a muscle-packed weightlifter one time, the next a long and lean dancer, another a well-proportioned all-around athlete; he can also change his sex. No matter what shape his body is in, it will always be extremely attractive.
His malleable genetics also gives him an unconscious mechanism that will evaluate any situation that he is in, and form an appropriate counter to it. Thus, if he is imprisoned, he will develop some power that will enable him to escape.
His body was also engineered to be immune to aging and diseases. However, this modified and malleable cell structure is especially sensitive to most drugs and chemicals, which can cause him great harm if exposed to them.
Finally, he can analyze and identify superpowers of anyone possessing them. By touching the person’s skin a benign and short-lived virus is induced into the individual, which analyzes their genetic code and reports the results back to Forerunner. This allows Forerunner to categorize and duplicate these powers.
Tactics: Forerunner works by stealth, in situations where there is a large amount of anonymous body contact, such as crowds. All that is needed is several seconds of skin-to-skin contact and the process is begun. He is also a complete pacifist, and will not directly attack or harm anyone; in combat situations he will not fight, instead surrendering and trusting in his shapechanging power to free him.
Appearance: As stated above, Forerunner can change his shape by changing his genetic code, making a definite description impossible. He prefers to remain anonymous, so he dresses accordingly.
Notes: Forerunner need not make an actual appearance in a campaign, but appear off camera in a number of ways. A smallötime gang or large criminal organization could capture him and use him to create superpowered criminals. A player’s NPC could be heard to remark that they wished to be more like the player’s character, whereupon Forerunner could see that the NPC would receive powers like the character.
The Transformation can be reversed. A Science: Genetics or Biochemistry roll at -1 per day delay from initial appearance of powers, up to 7 days, can produce a counter-agent which will reverse the process and remove the superpowers.
The points gained by a character through the Transformation Attack comes from Forerunner’s Mastermind bonus.