Friday, February 19, 2016

Luke Cage—Power Man

Jessica Jones has been out for a fair while, so I wanted to put some numbers onto Luke Cage. He's a really interesting character in that he's really, really durable, except against blunt force trauma. I think I did a pretty good job slapping him together, though.

Name: Luke Cage
Race: Human
Experience: 70 (Heroic)
Power Level: Street Fighter with Super Karma (35 PP)
Agility d8; Smarts d8; Spirit d8; Strength d12+4; Vigor d8
Pace 6; Parry 6; Charisma 2; Toughness 20 (12)
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Doubting Thomas, Loyal, Pacifist (m), Poverty, Vengeful (m) Wanted (M).
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Brawny, The Best There Is (super strength), Hard to Kill, Take the Hit, Charismatic, Brawler, Level Headed, Counterattack, First Strike, Sweep, Nerves of Steel.
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Shooting d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d6, Swimming d8, Taunt d4, Tracking d4.
Inventory: Motorcycle Helmet (Armor +3, 50% vs head shot).
  • Ageless (1): Luke's healing capabilities keep him from aging.
  • Armor +12 (10): Hardy, Heavy Armor, Ultra-Thick Skin. Limitation (–1, Heavy Armor modifier is ignored by blunt damage).
  • Regeneration (3): Level 2, rolls to heal every hour. Limitation (–1, negated if shrapnel is stuck inside).
  • Resistance (1): Fire/Heat. +4 to resist effects, +4 Toughness.
  • Super Attribute (15): Strength +6, Vigor +1. Heavy Weapon.
  • Super Edge (4): Hard to Kill. Take the Hit.
  • Toughness +1 (1): Hyper-dense musculature.
Carl Lucas was a talented athlete born to a preacher in Georgia and was best friends with a Willis Stryker (secretly his father's "love child"), who he got into all sorts of shenanigans with, including learning how to fight. Eventually, though, Carl and Willis were caught stealing a car for a joyride; Willis was sent to prison while Carl instead was allowed to go if he became a Marine Corpsman due to the influence of his father. After his tour of duty, Carl became a police officer in Savannah.

Years later, Carl was framed for a crime and sent to Seagate Prison. He met Reva Connors, the intervention councilor who he would eventually go on to marry, but was forced into a fighting ring run by corrupt prison security guards. After training and fighting for months, he was finally confronted by two other inmates—Shades and Comanche—who ganged up on him and beat him close to death.

Reva Connors, whose work as a councilor was a cover for screening subjects for an experimental scientific experiment to create superior human beings, convinced the lead scientist to put Carl through the procedure, hoping to cure him. There was a power surge, and the experiment accidentally provided Carl with superhuman durability and strength. Carl broke through a prison wall and swam from Seagate back to the Georgia shoreline.

Carl contacted Connors and changed his name to Luke Cage. She introduced him to "Pop" in Harlm, and she married Luke shortly afterwards. Reva, however, was tragically killed in an accident. Luke believed that there was more to the incident, however, and began to confront leads. Unfortunately, these led to a dead end.

Luke Cage had since acquired a bar that he runs with his friend Ron Healy. He's been down on his luck recently and has been sleeping with women, but refuses to sleep with married women on principle. One day, he slept with a P.I. named Jessica Jones, and found out soon after that she also has powers.

They briefly saw each other, connecting with each other over their powers, but she decided to cut ties with him to keep him away from something she was dealing with. He later hired Jessica to help him find information on the death of his wife, where she revealed that Reva was killed by her on accident. After his revelation, Cage cut ties with her instead.

Luke was later caught by a man named Kilgrave and mind controlled to blow up his own bar, convince Jessica to trust him, and then bring her to Kilgrave. He was forced to try and kill Jessica after Kilgrave's powers continued to not work on her, but she incapacitated him with a shotgun to the throat (unbreakable skin doesn't keep the organs from being rattled up inside).

After waking up in Jessica's apartment under the care of a nurse, and realizing that Jessica had gone to take care of Kilgrave, he left and moved from Hell's Kitchen to Harlem to try and start a new life.

Luke took a job with Pop in Harlem, living paycheck to paycheck and working two jobs to make a living. Luke was convinced to help find a troubled youth and bring him back to Pop's, however, which was supposed to be neutral ground, but a disgruntled gangster disrespected peace talks and shot up the shop, killing Pop. This helped put Luke into the spotlight as he began to fight against the crime organizations that led to Pop's death, including the notorious Cottonmouth, much to the chagrin of Harlem cop Misty Knight.

Soon into this crusade, however, Cottonmouth was found murdered, with Luke being framed for his killing. This put Luke on the run from the cops, as well as an independent agent calling himself "Diamondback," who severely wounded Cage using experimental military-grade Hammertech bullets. With the help of Claire Temple, he tracked down the scientist that originally concocted the serum to help her treat Luke, but Luke found out from old data files that Reva was actually working for the enhancement program that gave Luke his powers. Luke destroyed the scientist's barn and made his way back to New York.

Diamondback, actually Luke's long-lost friend Willis, sought revenge for Luke abandoning him, putting aside a black market empire that he had constructed to do so. Diamondback put out special Judas Bullets into circulation by using Mariah Dillard—Cottonmouth's sister—to lobby for the police commissioner to use them in apprehending Cage.

Eventually, Diamondback's rampancy did so much damage to himself that he deconstructed Harlem's most prominent crime families before attempting to (and failing) to attack Cage himself. Diamondback was beaten down and taken away, while Luke's antics have allowed him to be put on the national radar, allowing Georgia state officials to locate him. Luke is currently back in Seagate Prison, being held for the remainder of his sentence.


  1. How is a shotgun blunt damage?

  2. Under "Breaking Things" in Chapter 3 of SWD, shotguns at close range are considered to be blunt weapons, since the spread is still so small.

    Against meatbag targets, it may still be considered piercing damage normally, but since Luke has craploads of Toughness against piercing damage, it seems appropriate that the blunt trauma from short-ranged-shotguns applies rather than the piercing aspect of it.

    It's a small technicality, but it's important to note since in Jessica Jones he's pushed away from her via shotgun to the throat; would only reliably cause a wound when considering it as a blunt trauma weapon.