This post, third in a series describing my recent experience playing the Japanese role-playing game Double Cross 3, which I have been reading and recently had the chance to play-test, describes the character I played, Kintaro.
Kintaro, aka “The Noble,” is a pure-breed Black Dog syndrome male in his mid-20s, who works for the UGN company and hails from a wealthy family. He is a section chief at UGN, and like most Black Dog Overed, relies on physical strength and the power of lightning and storms to do battle. Black Dog powers don’t have much subtlety or information-gathering power. They smash and fry things. Kintaro’s work history is as a mecha-driver and engineer, using equipment similar to that seen in Aliens or Avatar.
Kintaro’s stats are:
- Physical: 6 (melee 4, resistance 1, Robot-driving 2)
- Sense: 2
- Spirit: 3 (Will 1)
- Social: 1 (Provisions 2, Knowledge-UGN 1)
Hit points: 35
Kintaro knows the following effects:
- Resurrect (lvl 1): regain 1d10 Hps, but must have a corruption score below 100 to use
- Warding (lvl 1): Turns non-overed NPCs into “extras” for the duration of a scene
- Concentrate (lvl 2): Reduces the critical number required for any effect with which it is combined by the level of this power
- Cyber Arm (lvl 3): Kintaro has a nasty-looking cyber arm that does bad stuff to bad people
- Arms Link (lvl 2): Adds [lvl] in dice to Kintaro’s attack roll with his melee skill
- Lightning Attack (lvl 2): Adds 2x[lvl] to Kintaro’s attack power (the damage he does with his attacks)
- Shield of ball lightning (lvl 2): Adds 2x[lvl] to Kintaro’s guard value (for resisting damage)
Kintaro has one power which he composed of a combination of 4 of these abilities.
Strike of the thunder arm (雷腕の攻撃): Combining the Cyber arm, concentrate, Arms link and lightning attack effects, Kintaro can add 2 dice to his next attack, reduce the critical target from 10 to 8, and increase the attack damage by 4. His total dice pool using this combination is 8, and he adds 10 to damage after rolling the damage dice resulting from his attack. A potent strike indeed!
I rolled for life path in the book, and obtained the following details:
A noble family.
A dangerous job.
Old clients, perhaps people in the world of his dangerous job.
From the above life-path details, we obtain Kintaro’s Lois:
- His mother: Kintaro’s relationship with his mother is characterised by hostility
- A client of his old work: This client is dead, and Kintaro honours his memory
- Silk Spider: A UGN agent who values Kintaro’s happiness
- Fellow Traveller: Kanamoto Saburota, one of the NPCs, whose relationship with Kintaro is characterised by “alienation.”
- Domeki, a PC, in whom Kintaro sees much promise
(The last two of these were generated for the adventure).
Putting the threads together: Kintaro’s story
Kintaro was born the youngest son of a wealthy family, inheritors of a network of nuclear power stations scattered across Japan. In his late teens Kintaro’s power began to manifest and his father, up until then a remote figure, began to draw him into the family business, rewarding his expression of super-power talents and slowly revealing their shared knowledge of the Black Dog skills. Perhaps proximity to the nuclear power plant induced this particular expression of the Renegade virus, but Kintaro’s powers were never strong, and ultimately his father despaired of him, tired of him, and became angry and hateful towards him. Somehow, Kintaro discovered that in fact his father was an agent of the False Hearts organisation, and confronting him with this knowledge, was offered the chance to join the organization by his father. He refused, and his father said terrible things about Kintaro’s weakness and lack of proper renegade manifestation. Kintaro, angered, suddenly manifested his full power and, in a burst of anger, set off such a cataclysm of electrical power that the power station in which their confrontation occurred collapsed around them. Kintaro, severely injured, fled his home and never returned. Somehow in the cataclysm his body fashioned itself a cyber arm from discarded pieces of the powerplant, and he left his home behind him.This explains the awakening of sacrifice.
Showing an affinity for machines, Kintaro took up dangerous work as a robot operator, heavy machinery operator and ultimately mecha driver. In between he associated with Yakuza, Yanki, and all the dangerous elements of the underworld that surround jobs associated with hard physical labour. He had some confrontations with his mother during this time, but discovered she had always known about and tolerated her father’s secret contacts. Angered, he withdrew from his mother, though she constantly calls and contacts him, and disappeared for years into the simple world of hard labour. It was here that he met one of his Lois’s, the client of one of his companies, who was perhaps a yakuza boss or brothel-owner but was like a mentor for Kintaro, helping him to control his anger. This man died, perhaps in an encounter with people connected with the False Hearts.
Eventually Kintaro’s occasional encounters with the False Hearts brought him to the attention of UGN, and they recruited him. Discovering the truth about the False Hearts and the plans his father had had – and his mother had tolerated – enabled Kintaro to find a new depth of hatred for this organisation and its fellow travellers, and this became his driving impulse. He threw himself into his work, becoming friends with the UGN contacts Silk Spider and Saburota, but his devotion to his work and dangerous manner alienated him from Saburota, so they trust one another but have awkward daily dealings. Kintaro took up working in a UGN mecha shop as his cover, but does a lot of agent work.
It should be clear from this description that Kintaro is a driven character, full of hatred for his enemies and impatience with those who cannot aid him. He is quick to anger and slow to forget, capable of bearing grudges against those he loves and who love him, and driven by personal demons and a strong sense of mission. Though he may not be stupid, he is clearly a man of action, unwilling to tolerate the niceties of diplomacy or social graces. People are a tool in his main goal, which is to avenge himself on and ultimately destroy the organisation which changed his life – the False Hearts. This probably suggests an equivocal view of his own powers, which he sacrificed much to gain, and possibly even a quite calculating view of his own employer. But one thing is certain – his mission is destruction, and he has the tools to carry it out.
About the image
The image is from the Black Dog chapter of the Double Cross rulebook. The inset panel says “before you look,” and the main panel says something like, “A bolt of energy that is surely 440 times the speed of sound, a million volts of power, and as much as a gigajoule of energy… that is to say, LIGHTNING.”