Gumshoe aka Joe Peppersmith
High Concept Mild-Mannered Janitor Turned Hero
Trouble Walking Gum
Aspects Raised in the Skids; Disgraced Army Engineer; Stick-to-ittiveness (Mental and Physical)
+3: Athletics, Mechanics
+2: Fight, Stealth, Will
+1: Drive, Investigate, Knowledge, Rapport
Contortionist: If you choose to spend an action moving from one zone to an adjacent one, your Athletics skill works unimpeded by conditions such as narrow openings, low ceilings, or other cramped conditions.
Always Making Useful Things: You don’t ever have to spend a fate point to declare that you have the proper tools for a particular job using Mechanics, even in extreme situations (like being imprisoned and separated from all your stuff). This source of opposition is just off the table.
Grappler: +2 to Physique rolls made to create advantages on an enemy by wrestling or grappling with them.
Stretching: Can make Fight attacks from up to 1 zone away
Resilience: Once per encounter you can uncheck 1 stress box as a free action.
Wall Crawling: You can move on vertical surfaces with little trouble, +2 to Athletics when moving past obstacles while wall crawling and +2 Stealth when hiding while wall crawling
Special Effects (option extra when succeed with style)
Inflict Condition (add an aspect to the target with one free invoke)
Joseph Harrison Peppersmith
AKA: Joe, Gumshoe
Height: 6 feet 2 inches
Weight: 190 pounds (on average)
Body Type: Tall, wiry
Skin: Smooth, pink gum-like substance
Joe usually wears blue jeans, a rumpled tan trench coat, and a battered brown fedora. He never wears shoes or gloves, and rarely wears a shirt. Those within close proximity to Joe catch the faint scent of bubblegum.
Joe came to live in The Skids when he was 8 years old (1989) after his mother was killed via collateral damage in a random meta-skirmish; just a normal kid transplanted from the Midwest. Just before her death, Joe’s mother had begun claiming publicly that a well-known hero on one of the government sponsered teams had fathered her son, Joe. The rumor was handily discredited by the government.
He moved in with his grandmother, Agatha Peppersmith, into her weather-beaten, but well kept, tenement. Growing up under his stern, but loving grandmother’s discipline, Joe could often be found running around playing at being a superhero, “like my father”, much to his grandmother’s consternation. Bringing home strays, helping out in the street-level bodega, and getting into too many scraps with the young kids of the Skids gangs, which he almost always lost.
As he grew older, Joe’s interests grew more and more into all things mechanical. If it was broken, Joe could probably fix it. He kept the tenement in working order; from clogged toilets to busted radiators, corroded wiring to the leaky boiler, even radios, televisions, and computers were kept operational with Joe’s uncanny ability to fix things.
After high school, Joe entered the local college and began training towards his Bachelor’s in Mechanical engineering. He was active in many college-based movements, such as Mutant Rights, Save the Whales, and the like. He did well in his studies, and spent much of his free time back in The Skids helping his grandmother keep the tenement going.
When 9-11 occured, Joe saw an opportunity to be a real hero, and he dropped out of college and joined the United states Army. His training and aptitude earned him a stateside-based position in the Army Corp of Engineers, and Joe finished his Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering. He chafed at doing public works at home, but did his duty and rose to Specialist, and began working towards a second degree in electrical engineering.
Then his unit was called for duty in Afghanistan.
After a short time in Afghanistan, Joe’s compound was attacked by enemy forces using biological weapons. His unit’s bunker was compromised, and the gasses were getting in, threatening his teammates. Unable to repair the air scrubbers inside, Joe quickly left the bunker dodging enemy fire and braving the toxic gasses, and rigged a filter to scrub the bunker air of the toxins. This was it! Joe would save his fellow soldiers and finally be a hero!
Then the bunker was hit by explosive ordnance and was destroyed. The only other two survivors told a tale of how Joe fled in cowardice as the gasses began infiltrating the bunker, mere minutes before it exploded. Joe was court martialed and dishonorably discharged for desertion. He was unable to prove his intentions, his actions, as the machinery he rigged was also destroyed in the blast. Worse, Joe’s lungs were damaged by gasses he inhaled while trying to save his teammates and he’d lost his medical benefits from the discharge.
Sent home in disgrace, Joe was unable to find engineering work as his dishonorable discharge dogged his steps. His grandmother helped where she could but Joe’s medical costs slowly drained most of her funds.
Joe eventually found work as a custodian at the Happy Fun Time Candy Factory (a Chiense-corporation owned company, rumored by some to be Triad owned). Other than general cleaning duties, Joe found himself more and more required to do repairs and other mechanical work for the company. One ancient machine used to create Happy Fun Time Super Pink Bubblegum was constantly breaking down, and in need of replacement.
One night, the gum machine broke down yet again … the boiler was overheating. Under threat of termination, Joe was forced to climb into the machinery to repair it. While doing so, the machine exploded. covering Joe in tons of scalding hot pink gum base. He was declared dead at the scene, his body unrecoverable from the sticky, hardened mass of gum encased within the now twisted wreckage of the machine. The company was shut down over the accident and the factory boarded up.
A little more than two weeks later, a pink, bubblegum scented humanoid shape was found wandering the streets near the factory. It was another month before the slightly amorphous mass of gummy pink humanoid awoke from it’s fugue state at the Asylum for Mutant Cases and claimed it was Joe Peppersmith.
More months later found Joe, now at his grandmother’s estate, learning to control his new form and abilities. It would be hard, mutants were not seen in a good light, especially ones with so obvious physical deformities, but Joe was determined this was his chance to show everyone the hero he desperately wanted to be.
It was never determined how Joe became this gum-creature. Obviously he had the meta gene or something hidden inside. Was it from his rumored meta-father? Did the biological attack trigger it active? Did the gum-splosion somehow complete his transformation? Joe may never know.
Joe, now working for Underdog Investigations, based out of street-level offices in his grandmother’s tenement, keeps up the tenement as he once did. He is a frequent customer at Madam Cho’s Massage Palace. Joe claims a vigorous massage keeps his new form supple and limber.
Joe recently discovered his mother’s name (Katherine “Moonfeather” Peppersmith) and a date approximately nine months before Joe’s birth date (DoB: 11-16-1980) listed on paperwork in relation to strange, liquid-filled vials found in a black, metallic capsule being hunted by possible government agents.