[BPRD] Dr. Howard Eaton

edited September 2012 in Out-Of-Game

Dr. Howard Eaton
Charm=0, Cool-1, Sharp+2*, Tough-1*, Weird+3
Current Harm: [-] [-] [-] • [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] • [ ] unstable?
Current XP: [-] [-] [-] [-] [ ]

Dr. Howard Eaton, b. perhaps 1900, 1905. English national. Caucasian. Appears mid-forties, prematurely gray. Appears to wear old-fashioned suits, dark, well-tailored. Wire-rimmed glasses, always. In close proximity, demonstrates distinct tangible aura, cold, slightly unnerving.

Until 1939, lecturer theologian at Blackfriars and curator at the British Museum. Occasional occult dabbler. Met Professor Trevor Bruttenholm in 1939 (ref. case "Bishop Olek's Devil"), and maintained contact with Bruttenholm through the British Paranormal Society.

In late 1944, joined Bruttenholm in New Mexico as a founding member of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense in response to the East Bromwich incident (ref. case "Project Ragna Rok"). Advised President Franklin D. Roosevelt on matters of occult scholarship, participated in several preemptive actions against Nazi occult projects (ref. B.P.R.D. after-action reports, 1945-1946).

In 1946, along with Dir. Bruttenholm, traveled to Berlin to catalog data pertaining to the Nazi obsession with the occult, with focus regarding aforementioned case "Project Ragna Rok". Dec'd six weeks later, 1946, in combined U.S./Soviet action at abandoned psychiatric institution and Nazi occult laboratory near Berlin (ref. case "Vampir Sturm"). Remains retrieved, repatriated to England, interred under auspices: Church of England.

Fifteen months later, 1948, evidence arose suggesting late Dr. Eaton still active as paranormal entity, ghost or spirit. As this was prior to establishment of Psychics Department, this proved initially difficult to substantiate, but was eventually confirmed in cooperation with Lady Cynthia Eden-Jones, of Bruttenholm and Eaton's mutual acquaintance through the British Paranormal Society.

In 1948, rejoined the B.P.R.D. as the second of the Bureau's "unique" personnel assets (indeed, the first such suitable for field work, as Hellboy was still, at this time, a child). More adept with manifestation in the course of the followed decade, but never considered well suited to field work due to scholarly inclinations, also considering the relative value of his technical expertise regarding magic and occult phenomena.

Was pulled from regular field work approx same time Dir. Bruttenholm stepped down from directorship in the late fifties. Continued as technical advisor and occasional field specialist into the eighties and nineties, semi-retired after friend, Prof. Bruttenholm, disappeared in 1992, presumed dec'd (ref. Cavendish Expedition, case "Seed of Destruction").

Now consults for Bureau on matters occult, spiritual. Nearly a hundred years occult expertise and technical experience regarding applied magic, valuable resource. Incorporeal. Other paranormal abilities? Unknown.
Angel Wings: You can go instantly to anywhere you've visited before, or to a person you know well. You can carry one or two people with you, but then you need to roll +Weird. On a 10+ you all go where you wanted. On a 7-9, you don't quite manage it. Either you leave the passengers behind, or you all appear in the wrong place.
Curse: You suffer +1 harm when you suffer harm from rock salt or cold iron. If you are bound or surrounded by either of these substances, you must act under pressure to use your powers.
Dark Negotiator: You can use the manipulate someone move on monsters as well as people, as long as they can reason and talk.
Ghostly Touch: Your touch counts as life-drain (1-harm intimate healing ignore-armor).
Incorporeal: You may move freely through solid objects (but not people).
Mayhem!: When you grab a nearby large object and use it as an improvised weapon, first determine how much damage it will do. Guidelines:
• Fire extinguisher, fence post, furniture, etc: 2-harm
• Motorcycle, lamppost, masonry chunk, etc: 3-harm
• Car, dumpster, boulder, etc: 4-harm
• Bus, truck, wall, etc: 5-harm
After you inflict harm with it (with a kick ass roll or otherwise), roll +harm your weapon actually caused.
On a miss, you use it without trouble. On a 7-9, pick one side effect, and on a 10+ pick two:
• You hurt someone nearby as well as your target.
• You make something about the situation worse.
• You lose control of your improvised weapon.
• You cause massive property damage.
• Your improvised weapon breaks.
Often Right: When a hunter comes to you for advice about a problem, give them your honest opinion and advice. If they take your advice, they get +1 ongoing while following your advice, and you mark experience.
Unholy Strength: Roll +Weird instead of +Tough when you kick some ass.
Luck: [-] [-] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

[ ] Get +1 Charm, max +2.
[ ] Get +1 Cool, max +2.
[ ] Get +1 Sharp, max +2.
[ ] Get +1 Tough, max +2.
[-] Take another Monstrous move (Dark Negotiator).
[-] Take another Monstrous move (Unholy Strength).
[-] Gain a haven, like the Expert has, with two options.
[ ] Take another natural attacks pick.
[-] Take a move from another playbook (Mayhem!).
[-] Take a move from another playbook (Often Right).

[ ] Get +1 to any rating, max +3.
[ ] Change this hunter to a new type.
[ ] Make up a second hunter to play as well as this one.
[ ] Mark two of the basic moves as advanced.
[ ] Mark another two of the basic moves as advanced.
[ ] Retire this hunter to safety.
[ ] Erase one used luck mark from your playbook.
[ ] You have freed yourself from the curse of your kind: your curse no longer applies, but you lose 1 Weird.
[ ] You turn evil (again): retire this character, they become one of the Keeper's threats.


  • edited September 2012
    I'm strongly considering playing a ghost. I thought about it in passing (I played a ghostly detective once in a different game, and it was fun), but then, look, here's Penny here already, so it seems like that might fit. I think it's a BPRD ghost, though, and while I'm not sure, I'm somewhat tempted to simply declare myself the ghost of Trevor Bruttenholm, if I may do that. In any case, the ghost of a scholar or soldier with deep ties to the Bureau and the Bureau's origins.

    Monstrous playbook, maybe with some Expert moves.
    I'm going with the ghost. Is it fair to assume that this game will be fairly distant from the main Hellboy/BPRD cast? Hellboy and Abraham Sapien and them are out there, but their stories shouldn't intersect with ours? If so, I would indeed like to go with the ghost of Trevor Bruttenholm, former (and deceased) director of the Bureau.

    I like the deep ties to the organization, and Bruttenholm strikes a nice balance of being both a character that I liked the idea of and also being a character who was explored very little in the comics. Well, I think he had a miniseries set in the 40's, but the modern Bruttenholm pretty much just went a little nuts and then died, in the space of a few pages in the first issue of the first story. So with that, there's plenty of space there in which I can work.

    If there's more of a chance of crossover with the canonical main cast though, there's probably too much baggage, and I'd need to cook up some kind of pseudo-Bruttenholm, another occult scholar who was there since the beginning. I'm guessing we're not expecting that kind of canon crossover to happen, though.
  • edited September 2012
    Regardless, he is:

    A man, in tailored clothes. Good suits, for the most part. He has a pleasant, but possibly also slightly unnerving aura.

    Charm=0, Cool-1, Sharp+2, Tough-1, Weird+3

    He is half-human, half-monster ... originally all human, but transformed by death. Or rather, by death and by a lifetime of exposure to supernatural powers. Due to the later, he doesn't quite follow the same rules as other ghosts. But certainly he has always been fighting for good.

    His curse is a vulnerability to rock salt and cold iron. He has an innate weapon, a sort of chilling touch that draws the life from the living and sort-of-living (1-harm intimate healing ignore-armor).

    He is certainly Incorporeal, and I'm not sure of his other move. Maybe simply Immortal, but I may use Something Borrowed to pick up something more interesting, or a talent he possessed while still alive.

    I'll decline to take a handy weapon, so no gear to speak of.
  • edited September 2012
    The top-of-thread entry has been expanded, so you might want to scroll up and check it out. I still need to pick my second move, though.

    He's currently semi-retired and somewhat distant from the B.P.R.D., but he'll be involved in things for reasons established in the History phase.
  • I'll just take Immortal as my second move, per the example ghost.
  • edited October 2012
    Changed my mind. Rather than taking Immortal, I'm taking Something Borrowed in order to get the Angel Wings move from the Divine playbook.

    So, new mythology: ghosts usually do age, sort of. More precisely, they gradually fade until they have no choice but to move on. How long that takes might depend on the strengths of their personalities, on the circumstances of their deaths, and on how many ties they still have to the world of the living.

    I'm taking Angel Wings because otherwise I feel like a sort of stupid ghost. I can walk through walls, sure, but I can't disappear and I get around just like normal people. It seems vaguely absurd for my incorporeal spirit to need a bus pass to get across town. Angel Wings lets me come and go in a suitably ghostly fashion at least, though it's weird that I still can't turn invisible.

    It also lets me teleport people to anywhere I've been before, which is pretty stylish. I posit that it has to do with ghostly nature, with ghosts being creatures of memory, the more powerful ones able to cause the world to become a little less real, blending memory and reality. I use that to move people into places from my memories, but it's the same basic principle as a murder victim making the walls bleed.

    Of course, that is simply a pet theory of mine. The doing of it is largely instinctual.
  • I'm not too far from taking my first improvement. It's reasonably likely that that will happen in the middle of action, so I'll discuss it now, since it's a more complex improvement. I'm going to the improvement "Gain a haven, like the Expert has, with two options."

    It might be a place somewhere generally inaccessible to others, that Eaton reaches through Angel Wings and/or incorporeality. An old subway station somewhere that was sealed off in an earthquake, something like that.

    But I was also thinking of this. I described Angel Wings as Eaton moving through a non-place constructed in his mind. Would it be too weird to make that place his haven? I'd take the Protection Spells option for the haven, showing that it's impossible to get into/out of without something special (in this case, probably mind powers of some sort).

    And I might take the Oubliette option as well, allowing him to trap things in hidden rooms and mental mazes. That, or one of the library options, reflecting that he remembers entire libraries of useful books. I'm leaning toward the Oubliette, since having him use his own mind as a prison for monsters could have interesting implications.

    Does that sound reasonable, or would it be too strange?
  • It's reasonable, more than a little bit strange. How would the other PCs interact with him there?
  • Penny could probably still interact with him there.
  • I think he can use Angel Wings to take people in and out (he can use Angel Wings on others by rolling+weird). After all, that power works by walking through his memories, so it stands to reason that he could just stop there with others, if he wanted to. That would also be how he pulls things into the Oubliette.

    In the memory palace, I think it's a place, kind of an amorphous place. At any given moment, it's just tatted together out of places in his memories. I think the rule is, it has internal logic and organization like a real place, and he can rearrange it with some thought. If he has to rearrange it urgently, like to throw a resistant monster into the oubliette or to avoid some kind of psychic infiltrator, that's probably acting under pressure.

    Angel Wings doesn't comment on how you use it on an unwilling person, but I think Eaton needs to lay a hand on you to use it (and that's why it says it's limited to one or two people). So if someone's capable of resisting, that might be a roll of some kind to lay on hands or to get a solid hold.

    Angel Wings is instantaneous, so traveling through the memory palace takes no time. However, it probably makes sense to say that if Eaton relaxes his concentration and uses the place as a haven, then time moves more-or-less normally, or maybe with a touch of dreamlike fluidity.

    The oubliette isn't a room. Instead, he can close something up in a maze or chamber with no exit, and his control of the place is enough to keep prisoners from being found, using powers, or escaping. Of course an appropriate hard move could create an opening, probably particularly if Eaton rolls a miss while transporting others through Angel Wings. There's that monster move, after all: escape no matter how well trapped, or something like that.
  • I'm not comfy with the possibility of using Angel Wings as a weapon. The idea of picking someone up, using Angel Wings to take them to a place that doesn't exist and then putting them in prison is not really what I see as fun in a game of BPRD. Does that make sense?

    Now, as far as carrying someone, what if touch and someone being willing to go is required?
  • Well, look at this harder. Weaponizing Angel Wings + Oubliette would require Eaton to get a hold of someone, deliver them to the haven, then trap them in the oubliette.

    If Eaton's trying this on a target that can still resist, that's generally three rolls, and two of them are probably acting under pressure rolls (Cool-1). If he hits 7-9 on acting under pressure, you can offer whatever compromise you like (and the odds favor me rolling a flat miss on at least one of those). With my Angel Wings roll I need to roll+weird, so I have good odds of rolling 10+, but if I roll 7-9 it simply doesn't work ... either Eaton leaves the target behind, or he loses his concentration and ends up somewhere else (your choice). And I can still roll a miss.

    So to pull it off on a target that is capable of resisting, I need three 10+ rolls in a row to get there without compromise. I'm not sure why Eaton would even try, unless I intend to mark up to 3-luck to pull it off ... and if I'm doing that, well heck, he really should be able to do something kind of nuts.

    But if the target is incapacitated, so that I only need to roll Angel Wings, then I don't think it's substantially different from dragging them off to some secure BPRD facility. And it keeps those defeated monsters more in play, since they're riding around in Eaton's mind, and you can be making soft moves about how they're testing their confinement, or make hard moves to have them escape, when the chance comes up.

    If anything, I'm wondering if the oubliette is worth bothering with, since it'd be only occasionally useful and more appropriate for long-term play, which you've said you don't intend for this game. I think I'd really only want to take the oubliette option with the advance it if it seems like we're going to end up taking Aella prisoner.
  • Do you want her as a prisoner? If so, let me know, take the advance and I'll narrate to that. I was thinking she's basically destroyed on this plane.
  • Now, I do think, in general, Angel Wings should be able to work on someone unwilling. It doesn't say anything against that, and it's hard to make work anyway.

    • If the monster/person is unwilling, I have to do something to lay hands on them, probably acting under fire, which I'm bad at. I guess if we can get the person immobilized, either through my rolls or Blake/Penny's rolls, that might sidestep that.

    • Then I have to roll+weird to move them, and I need a 10+ to move them somewhere of my choice. On a 7-9, I can move them somewhere of your choice, which might still be good if I just need to get them away, but even then ... if I accidentally teleport an angry werewolf into the middle of the British Museum, say, have I really accomplished anything but get rid of the rest of my team?
  • edited October 2012
    If Penny kills her, then no, no prisoners. In character, I prefer to hold her, research what she can do and how she can be genuinely destroyed (none of that coming back later crap), and then discuss with the Bureau whether she ought to be dealt with permanently.

    Also, I can't take the improvement yet. I'll be one xp away. I just wanted to discuss a little in advance, because taking a haven is a fairly complex improvement.
  • Let me think on this, I'm just not sure the idea of magic teleportation everywhere is something I'm able to keep up with as a GM, I don't want to end up being overwhelmed and the game being not fun. I feel like I struggled with just positioning in the fight and that was pretty simple stuff.
  • Realistically, using Angel Wings to transport others would be rare, and it would mostly be used to escape a bad situation. That is, Eaton grabs Penny, he grabs Blake, and then we leave. On a 7-9 you pick where we end up, but presumably the situation was bad enough that anywhere else looked like a good place to be.

    Using it as normal transportation for others is iffy, since I have to roll 10+ to do it with any control. In an urgent situation, I could see attempting it and maybe even marking luck to make it stick, but it's not as if we'd be ferrying around the world on a casual basis.

    Using it on unwilling targets is even more iffy, as mention, and it's likely I'd never attempt it. Still, I'd prefer for the option to be there than not.
  • OK, I'll work through it then.
  • Oh, I got my last xp, so I'll be gaining a haven. I'm just not sure what options to pick.

    If I'd been in a position to capture Aella, I'd have gone with the Protected/Oubliette haven-in-my-head, but it didn't shake out like that, so I don't think I'll bother. I'd have to wait until the next monster to have a chance to use it, and it might not make sense then either, and with this being a shorter-term game it seems kind of silly to mess around with stuff that might never actually get a chance to come up.

    I might even just secure an office at the B.P.R.D. headquarters between sessions, since the timing would work out well. Maybe just take Mystical Library and Magical Laboratory? That would be simple and handy. I could have an office or home elsewhere in the world too, but requesting an office and moving in would put me in the same building as Penny, which would be desirable.

    We'll go with that. B.P.R.D. office, and I'll be moving in all my books, tools, and weird magical ingredients.
  • edited November 2012
    Improvement time: I was intending to take the Dark Negotiator move, but I'll have to put that off. The timing is perfect, and I'm instead taking the Mayhem! move, from the Summoned playbook.
    Mayhem!: When you grab a nearby large object and use it as an improvised weapon, first determine how much damage it will do. Guidelines:
    • Fire extinguisher, fence post, furniture, etc: 2-harm
    • Motorcycle, lamppost, masonry chunk, etc: 3-harm
    • Car, dumpster, boulder, etc: 4-harm
    • Bus, truck, wall, etc: 5-harm
    After you inflict harm with it (with a kick ass roll or otherwise), roll +harm your weapon actually caused.
    On a miss, you use it without trouble. On a 7-9, pick one side effect, and on a 10+ pick two:
    • You hurt someone nearby as well as your target.
    • You make something about the situation worse.
    • You lose control of your improvised weapon.
    • You cause massive property damage.
    • Your improvised weapon breaks.
    ^ Poltergeist. Not that I have the Tough score to back it up, but still.
  • Improvement time: Dark Negotiator.
  • Improvement: Often Right.
  • 5th improvement. Monstrous move, Unholy Strength.
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