…in which I use the character creation rules in the Marvel Super Heroes RPG’s Ultimate Powers Book to roll up a random batch of powers and abilities, then sit back and watch as some incredibly talented folks work their creative magic upon the quantified chaos.
This week’s round of imaginative heavy lifting comes courtesy of courageous Keith Pille.
Alois Arschloch is a man who has triumphed over immense, repeated personal tragedy and adversity. Unfortunately, he’s also an asshole.
Arschloch was born in Bonn in 1977, and led an unremarkable West German childhood until the age of 13, when the shy, bookish lad was jumped by a gang of ruffians behind Bonn’s famous Pak Mann Videospielhalle, where he had just spent four hours playing Bad Dudes. The bullies took his remaining game tokens, delivered several punishing Indian burns, and, critically, yanked Alois’ pants hard enough to deliver an Atomic Wedgie so severe that bloodflow to his brain was interrupted and the boy was pronounced legally dead.
Heroic efforts at Bonn’s Gedenksuperspital Hospital revived him, but not without cost- the drugs (experimental steroidal craziness snuck across the border from East Germany) used to bring him back triggered the youth’s dormant x-gene, and the resurrected Alois Aschloch’s puberty took an abrupt left turn.
First, the boy’s skin got tougher. Then, slowly, as he hit the gym day after day in an attempt to bulk up so that no bully would ever harm him again, he discovered that his muscles had no upper limit for growth; as long as he kept lifting, he kept getting stronger. Adherence to a fanatical gym regime (which persists to this day) led to Arschloch’s development of strength well beyond that of normal humans (later in life, he would defeat the X-Man Colossus in an arm-wrestling tournament, although several people who were there suspect Arschloch was cheating); however poor lifting form has left Arschloch with severely limited range of motion and a refusal to listen to trainers on the incompleteness of his workout program means that his muscular superdevelopment exists solely above the waist.
But the changes weren’t just in his muscles; in the weeks after Arschloch’s revival, his brain began a rapid expansion, and his skull grew to accomodate it. Arschloch rocketed through his science and math classes,and then those of Bonn University, and was awarded triple Ph.D.s in physics, engineering, and sports medicine before his 19th birthday.
Arschloch’s mutant brain is capable of astonishing feats of invention; virtually any time he encounters a problem in life, his brain stretches the bounds of science and engineering to present him with a technological solution. Unfortunately, Arschloch is congenitally capable of thinking his solutions through past the immediate problem at hand. It was only through the last-second intervention of the Avengers, for instance, that he was prevented from using an ingenious antimatter weapon from destroying the moon because the moonlight was interfering with his astronomical observations. In another incident, Arschloch attempted to cure a dandruff problem by installing a pair of subcutaneous electrode strips along his extended cranium; when activated, the strips cured his flakes but also blew out electrical equipment in half of Germany through an electromagnetic pulse. Afterwards, Arschloch discovered that the strips (now fused to his skull) also gave him the capacity to contact beings in a spatial dimension composed primarily of energy; these beings, it turns out, are frequently willing to work with Arschloch because even though they think he’s a dick, they find him preferable to Reed Richards, who Arschloch’s devices have helped them repel.
Experimenting upon himself, Doktor Arschloch has expanded his capabilities in a few other ways: to maximize his lab and gym time, he has altered his cells to be capable of photosynthesis, removing his need to waste time eating.
He was asked by the German government to retreat to an Alpine schloss after his most notorious failure to think things through, an incident involving his attempt to make human pregnancy communicable through air (this incident also marked the end of his marriage to Hilde Arschloch, a gym rat he had wooed with his immense bench press totals). Arschloch spends his time in the Schloss working on the lab, pursuing his scientific interests, and occasionally doing superengineering on a for-hire basis for clients who can put up with talking to him for more than five minutes. His clients include Victor Von Doom (who paid Arschloch extra for the right to claim that the work was Doom’s own), the Red Skull, and Natasha Romanova (who vowed she would never return upon catching one of Arschloch’s hovering botservants taking a detailed scan of her posterior).
Are you an artist, writer, or terrifying combination of the two who’d like to try your hand at the Ultimate Powers Jam? Then drop me a line at bitter(dot)andrew(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll commence the dice to rolling!