Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Aluminum Falcon!

Since I've already covered The Amazing Aluminum Man, Adamantium Man, and American Ironhead I decided to go with one of my favorite alternate Aluminum Family characters - Aluminum Falcon! Where did he come from? Well, it was a happy coincidence of several things:
  • I had decided to go ahead and make an Aluminum character for every blaster power set on City of Heroes. 
  • I needed a concept for the archery/bow guy type hero
  • I watched this Robot Chicken Episode - I'm sure many of you know exactly what I'm referring to by now.

Inspiration struck and Aluminum Falcon was born!

In CoH terms he was actually a Trick Arrow/Archery Defender - my first in the game - which made him a lot of fun to play. Defenders tended to be more team support types so 90% or more of my time with him was spent on teams dropping net arrows or oil slick arrows or flaming arrows or gas arrows - lots of fun times.

RPG Background Notes:

Olympic archery champion, techie guy, and nephew of the famous Amazing Aluminum Man, Aluminum Falcon was inspired by his uncle's efforts to improve the world. With his uncle's help he crafted his own suit and weapons and took to the streets to pit his skill against the criminals of Paragon City.

  • The wings are from an early effort by AAM to control his flight. As his powers matured he ended up not needing them but they gave his nephew the ability to control his flight despite his lack of similar innate powers. In some forms, they fold down into a cape when not in use.
  • An aluminum suit could be dangerous around electrical foes so massive storage capacity is built into the suit to absorb electricity and channel it into melee attacks similar to Aluminum Man's. The storage is mainly concentrated in the legs which helps with stability and keeping the bow-side up while flying or hovering.
  • The suit is a more conventional powered armor type suit. It grants protection from small-arms fire, environmental control, radio communications, enhanced vision, targeting aids, some enhanced strength and speed, and (with the wings) flight capability.
  • The primary offensive capabilities comes from the bow, and the skill of the man who wields it.


Aluminum Falcon is a competitor and has enough of an ego that he does not feel overshadowed by AAM - they look and fight differently enough that few people confuse the two. His motivation for becoming a hero was to find a way to use his considerable skill with a bow in some way that made a difference. He's not "born of tragedy", he's not a wealthy man, and he's not a scientific genius. He just happened to have a useful skill, a desire to make a difference, and an inside connection to the superhero community that made this possible. He has enough technical knowledge to maintain the suit and make small upgrades and enhancements but a major upgrade would require someone else's help, mainly knowledge, facilities, and funding. For a comic comparison, think Peter Parker - he can handle the web shooters and tracers, but ti took Tony Stark's help to make the iron spider suit. It's a comparable situation.

Aluminum Falcon for ICONS:
Character Folio Sheet
Click here for a PDF

Prowess: 4 (Good) He is not a melee guy, but has experienced enough of it to not be totally helpless
Coordination: 6 (Remarkable) He is one of the more coordinated people in the world, near the top of human capability
Strength: 5 (Excellent) He is an Olympic competitor and the suit boosts this a bit as well
Intellect: 5 (Excellent) He's smart enough to keep up with most people
Awareness: 4 (Good) He pays attention to what's going on around him
Willpower: 6 (Remarkable) The drive to compete has been re-channelled into his drive to excel as a hero

Stamina: 11

Origin: Trained (3 bonus specialties, 2 fewer powers)

Specialties: Weapons - Bows (Master) +3, Athletics (Expert) +2, Electronics

Bow (all are device-based):

  • Hi-Tech Arrows - Blast 6
  • Explosive Arrows - Explosive Blast 5
  • Net Arrow - Binding 5
  • Gas Arrow - Affliction 4, Burst, Ranged, Unconsciousness is max effect
  • Flash Arrow - Blinding 6, Burst

Super-Senses - 2 (Typical) - Enhanced Vision +1, Extended Vision 1 (device-based - armor)
Invulnerability - 4 (Good) - Falcon Armor (device-based - armor)
Flight - 5 (Excellent) - Wings (device-based - armor)

"Competitive Champion" - Falcon was very good at something and was recognized for it before becoming a superhero. He has a drive and a will to excel that helps push him through challenging circumstances.

"What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?" - Catchphrase! A typical response or continuation is "I'm glad you asked" followed by an arrow shot.

"Aluminum Family" - connection

"Olympic Archer" - secret identity

"Aluminum Suit" - aluminum is a heck of a conductor and if you do not have powers that let you control it, well, electrical attacks can be a problem. This counts as a Weakness and could manifest as anything from blown out sensors to shorted-out wings to unconsciousness from a successful attack.

Notes: In ICONS terms his abilities and specialties add up to 35, which isn't bad. Then we get into "Powers" and there are a lot of ways to score those, but he's up into the 60's as shown here and he's not all that powerful IMO. ICONS as written is not really set up to show gadgeteer types with lots of small powers since you roll for number of powers, not number of points. The way I've composed him here is reflective of a more traditional point-buy approach and a more traditional thinking that devices should not cost the same as innate powers.

The suit is really a suite of powers based off of a single device. Protection, senses, flight are all pretty traditional battlesuit abilities and his are at the lower end of the scale - Iron Man he is not! Crunchier systems can reflect this more accurately than ICONS does but what we have here works.

The bow is really a separate suite of powers that you don't see tied to an armor guy much, one reason I liked the combination. Again, it's easier to show these kinds of powers in crunchier systems where you can use an array or a multipower to have multiple effects coming from a single power choice. The basic attack is "shooting an arrow" and everything else builds off of that. Even in ICONS the explosive arrow could be a stunt off of the regular blast power, forcing you to spend determination to use it. That said, I think he needs at least two other options to make him interesting - the flash arrow or the net arrow or the gas arrow. He doesn't have to be the primary attacker on a team, but he should have several ways to contribute to stay true to the original concept.

Hmm, lots of normal abilities, skills, and two main power sets. Let's see ...

Watching ...

Aluminum Falcon for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying:

Click here for a PDF

Creating the same character across different systems lets you emphasize different elements in new ways. Marvel Heroic lets some of the details come out a little more. I can emphasize his team player nature with affiliations and one of his XP sets. The energy absorption/battery thing shows up in one of the SFX for the suit too. The suit ends up being at least as useful as the bow and pretty versatile as well. His Powers, SFX, and Limits are a mix of Hawkeye, Falcon, Iron Man, and Punisher. His XP options come from Falcon and Invisible Woman, of all things. I think he would be fun to play though given our limited experience in the game I do not doubt there are revisions I would make after a few sessions.

Anyway that's it for "A" and for Aluminum Falcon.  Next up, the letter B!


Gwen Gardner said...

Whoa, Aluminum Falcon sounds like an awesome super dude. I do see how aluminum could be a problem, though. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I assume it's pronounced in the British manner?

Alumin-I-um Falcon?

Timothy Brannan said...

Awesome! Of course I keep thinking "What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?" ;)

And you multi-stated him. You know I love that stuff!

Joe Bardales said...

Very cool character concept. Thanks for dual statting and for the PDFs!

Barking Alien said...

Oh dear. I fear my villains may be too dark and serious for your heroes in our proposed match-up. lol

Still, really like this guys look.

Here's to A! I salute thee.

Blacksteel said...

Awesome! In order ...


Could be British, though if you check that sound clip it explains a bit


Your welcome!

Don't give up just yet Captain Serious! I'm covering a lot of ground this month.