Akio Matsuda, Salaryman with a Secret

Akio Matsuda (or Matsuda Akio in Japanese order) is a salaryman and Japanese expatriate. He rarely wears anything but a suit, totes a briefcase, works long hours for Sony Electronics, and almost always feels unappreciated. After his day’s toil, he often goes to bars with his colleagues, drinking far too much and butchering songs on the karaoke machine. He doesn’t return to his apartment until the wee hours. Then he puts on his pajamas, lies down, and plugs into the bedside power outlet.

Akio was once the property of a Yakuza lieutenant. The man had strongarmed some robotics technicians into making him a financial manager-assassin. He spared no expense. Every chanbara technique went into the robot’s circuitry. Not wanting the government to confiscate his incredibly expensive toy, the lieutenant also had anti-detection measures installed. Finally, he had contacts forge identity papers-complete with battling business school credentials-for his robot. Akio’s creation went without a hitch. The lieutenant had his obedient agent and used him well.

Then, one rainy night in Shinjuku, rival gangsters ambushed his crew. A stray bullet hit Akio. While it did little more than blow a hole in his suit, it caused the robot to awaken. He immediately went on a rampage, taking down attackers and his owner’s men alike. The Yakuza lieutenant didn’t care about them. He was more concerned with his new sapient device’s loyalty.

At first Akio continued his faithful service. He didn’t think of an alternative social context until he learned of corporate life. It sounded unimaginably tedious and boring. On the other hand, he didn’t like his current colleagues’ attitudes toward the law. Who were they to go against the government? What would happen to him if law enforcement caught him and discovered he was a sapient device? When Akio learned he had a legal identity, he overpowered his Yakuza minders and fled into the night. He soon signed up with Sony’s corporate raiding corps.

Akio has served his employer faithfully since then. While he doesn’t get much praise from his managers (typical of Japanese corporate culture), he is a fine fighter with a rare understanding of chanbara. He lacks the ego that usually comes with those powers. For this reason, Sony reassigned Akio to its New York City office. His superiors wanted him to train the company’s local corporate raiders and collect intelligence on competitors. Akio accepted with surprising enthusiasm. After all, surely an ocean and a continent would hamper the Yakuza’s efforts to retrieve him.

Identifying Characteristics: 5’7”, 150 lbs, apparent age 30, actual age 5; cropped black hair, brown eyes, light golden skin; has an adapter port on the small of his back.

Basic Appearance: Akio has a fairly stocky build. As described above, he dresses as the stereotypical salaryman, with black or gray suits, dark ties, and always-shiny shoes. He wears false glasses to evade Yakuza detection. Thanks to his Disguise Self Innate Enchantment and Battlers’ tendencies not to notice blatant oddities, they’ve worked so far.

Personality: Even for a Japanese Battler, Akio is quiet and restrained. His shyness and conformity are noticeable even in his homeland. Indeed, Akio is a consummate team player. Partially this is because he has embraced salaryman culture. Mostly, he fears that pursuing individual success will lead to Yakuza attention or the revelation of his artificial nature. His superiors interpreted his communalism as corporate loyalty, which is why they sent him to America.

Despite being so reserved, Akio is fascinated by sapient devices and people. He feels a kinship with more obvious sapient devices. As for humans, Akio often feels like there is a thin barrier separating his condition from theirs. He sometimes wonders if he could become a real human. Other than these fascinations, he is a model salaryman, working crushing amounts of overtime and living solely for his job without complaint.

+1 ECL Race: Humanoid Sapient Device (58 CP)

  • Fast Learner/Specialized in Skills: +2 SP/Level (6 CP).
  • +4 Intelligence (Normally 24 CP, reduced to 12 CP by world laws).
  • +2 Constitution (Normally 12 CP, reduced to 6 CP by world laws). Humanoid devices’ creators build them to standard human proportions. In addition to making them look less whimsical, this design change allows them standard human coordination and mobility.
  • Immunity/Aging (can expect to live almost indefinitely, uncommon / minor / major, 3 CP).
  • Damage Reduction 5/- (12 CP) and Defender (Improved)[ (+Level/5 rounded down + 1 natural armor] (12 CP). Just like their stranger-looking cousins, humanoid devices trade healing capabilities for durability.
    Extraordinary Returning (Specialized, Requires being “animated” with standard cel-based or 3D animation tools) (3 CP). Humanoid devices are all too similar to human Battlers. They have trouble thinking of themselves as creations (despite being artificial to begin with) and don’t know about this ability.
  • Martial Arts: Counts as armed and inflicts 1d4 damage when fighting unarmed (3 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment: All spells Personal Only: Regenerate Light Wounds (1/Round, up to 20 points/level/day maximum, 1400 GP) and Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2x Con Mod HP, 1400 GP). 2800 GP total, 6 CP.
  • 6 CP dedicated to the device’s intended function. Akio has Cloaking, which makes him appear as a human to supernatural senses.
  • Template Disadvantages:
    • Distinctive Features: All humanoid sapient devices have hints of mechanical components somewhere on their bodies, usually power ports on their tailbones or the backs of their necks. If scanned or surgically examined, they obviously aren’t human. Thankfully, this is usually as difficult as hiding their differences gets. Battlers are notoriously willing to overlook odd things like their coworker seeping hydraulic fluid and wires instead of blood and entrails (-3 CP).
    • Insane: Most toons are blasé, even bored, in even the most dangerous and deadly situations (-3 CP).

Disadvantages and CP Modifiers
Compulsive (workaholic), Hunted (the Yakuza), and Secret (is a sapient device, +10 CP); Duties (salaryman at Sony Electronics, +2 CP/Level). Total 144 L5 Base + 10 (Disads) + 10 (Duties) = 164 CP.

Basics (41 CP)
Attributes: Strength 15 (+2), Dexterity 18 (+4), Constitution 13 (+1/1 magic point), Intelligence 21 (+5), Wisdom 14 (+2), and Charisma 10 (+0/no free contacts). Rolled Attributes: 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 17.
Hit Dice: L1-5: d8x5 (20 CP). HP 28 + 5 (Con) + 14 (Magic) = 47, 33 in nonmagical realms.
Saves: Fortitude +1 (3 CP) + 1 (Con) = +2, Reflex +4 (12 CP) + 4 (Dex) = +8, Will +2 (6 CP) + 2 (Wis) = +4.
Languages Known: Japanese (native); English, German, Korean, Mandarin, and Russian. As usual with Japanese Battlers, Akio has poor English dubbing.

Combat Information (30 CP)
Proficiencies: All Simple and Martial Weapons and Small Arms (15 CP – 6 from Dex = 9 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP).
Move: 40 ft.
Initiative: +4
BAB: +3 (18 CP)
Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 4 (Dex) + 2 (Wis) + 2 (natural armor) + 2 (armor) + 2 (Martial Arts) = 22. Akio has 7 points of universal damage reduction.

Usual Weapons:

  • Tachi (Large Katana/Bastard Sword): +9 melee [+3 BAB + 4 (Dex) + 2 (Martial Arts)], 2d10+4 slashing (+4 Dex), 19-20/x2. Akio wields his tachi two-handed, allowing it to be used as a martial weapon.

Abilities (93 CP)

  • Acrobatics/Light Foot, Corrupted, Light Foot requires an Acrobatics roll (10 CP)
  • Anime Master (6 CP): May overbear, grapple, and wield weapons as if he were one size larger.
  • Assistant (6 CP): Aid Another actions grant a +4 bonus.
  • Block/Melee (6 CP): May spend an attack of opportunity to negate 60 points of damage with a DC 20 Reflex save.
  • Celerity (6 CP): +10 ft. to base movement speed.
  • Contacts (4 CP)
  • Fortune/Evasion (6 CP)
  • Mana 1d6/Resilience (6 CP): Reserve of 4 Mana, usable for countering attribute drains, damage, level drains, and mind-affecting powers.
  • Opportunist (6 CP): May take a Move Action using Acrobatics, Jump, or Tumble once per round as a free action. This may be combined with Tumble to avoid attacks of opportunity.
  • Opportunist (6 CP): May make personal Dexterity-based rolls, such as Acrobatics, Jump, Tumble, and Reflex saves, on behalf of any vehicle he is piloting.
  • Privileges/Battling Business License and Wealth (6 CP): Akio maintains two apartments: a tiny one in central Manhattan and a slightly larger one in Tokyo’s Minato ward, not too far from Sony’s corporate headquarters.
  • Reflex Training/Combat Reflexes Variant (6 CP): Gains (Dex Mod) additional attacks of opportunity per round.
  • Skill Points: 19 CP + 40 (Int) + 10 (Racial) = 69 SP.

Bonus Abilities (no cost)
Finesse (6 CP): May substitute Dex Mod for Str Mod in melee combat.
Innate Enchantments (4550 GP Value / 6 CP, all effects unlimited use at caster level one, personal only):

  • Void Sheathe (conceals weapons, 700 GP)
  • Mending (fixes hair, clothing, etc, 700 GP)
  • Disguise Self (+10 bonus only, 1400 GP)
  • Resist Energy (1400 GP)
  • Prestidigitation (only provides glowing special effects, half cost, 350 GP).

Skills
Broad Skills (50 SP, all +5 Int)

Physical Skills (20 SP): Acrobatics (Dex) +18 (8 SP), Reaper Style Kenjutsu (Dex) +17 (8 SP), Stealth (Dex) +13 (4 SP)
Knowledge Skills (14 SP): Business (Int) +18 (8 SP), Repair (Int) +9 (1 SP), Security Systems (Int) +14 (4 SP).
Perception Skills (16 SP): Listen (Wis) +11 (4 SP), Sense Motive (Wis) +11 (4 SP), Spot (Wis) +14 (8 SP)
Narrow Skills (17 SP, all +5 Int, +5 Training)
Physical Skills (3 SP): Drive/Automobile (Dex) +15 (1 SP), Jump (Str) +13 (1 SP), Tumble (Dex) +15 (1 SP)
Knowledge Skills (6 SP): Battling Business Regulations (Int) +16 (1 SP), Consumer Electronics (Int) +16 (1 SP), Financial Planning (Int) +16 (1 SP), Personal Assistant (Int) +16 (1 SP), Salaryman (Int) +16 (1 SP), Streetwise (Int) +16 (1 SP)
Other Skills (8 SP): Diplomacy (Cha) +13 (3 SP), Instruction (Cha) +13 (3 SP), Negotiation (Cha) +13 (2 SP)
Specialities (2 SP): Repair/Humanoid Sapient Devices +3, Streetwise/The Yakuza +3

Reaper Style Kenjutsu (Dex)

The Reaper Style of swordplay isn’t native to Battling Business World; it’s one of the anime intrusions that the Numbers tried to suppress. Its signature weapon is the tachi-essentially a gigantic katana. (Real-word tachi are not this big, but the anime realms have never been known for historical accuracy.) Practitioners wield the clumsy-looking blade with shocking grace and power. It’s a favorite of assassins who prefer making examples of their kills.
Requirements: Proficiency with katana (or point buy equivalent) and Anime Master. Occult Techniques require Acrobatics/Light Foot and training in Acrobatics and Tumble.
Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 2 (1d12 with normal katana, 2d10 with tachi), and Synergy (Acrobatics).
Advanced Techniques: Breaking, Reach, Master Technique: Sunder, Master Technique: Whirlwind Attack
Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Ki Block, Ki Focus, and Light Foot
Techniques Known: Attack 2 (“Lightning Strike”), Defenses 2 (“Giant Sword Parry”), Power 2 (“Tachi Mastery”), Reach (“Sword-as-Spear Strike”), Ki Focus (“Perfected Strike”), and Light Foot

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  1. Latest Material Index « Emergence Campaign Weblog
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