Pulp Krieg: Heroes - Stage Magician
$Revision: 1.8 $


Stage Magician template

This character concept has been influenced by the "fictional" Houdini. Note that he was so famous that his fictional adventures were used for short stories and movies even while he was still alive.
Another strong influence comes from the short-lived "The Magician" TV series starring Bill Bixby. In it a modern-day stage magician helps works as a sort of free-lance investigator and trouble-shooter investigating on various crimes.
The main character used tricks, evasion, fast talk and his brain to triumph over his enemies. Violence was usually reduced to a modicum, and supernatural was not part of the story.
As usual, see below for modifications.

Tools of the Trade

Stage Magician "KIT"

Item Notes
Gas Bombs Range 0/5
Lockpicks Simple locks only
Micro-bolas Range: 2m max.
Difficulty 6+


Here is a "standard" toolkit for a combination Magician/Adventurer character. The various items are listed below. I suggest requiring a 1 pt. character expenditure before allowing the character to use these items.
Spending the experience point grants the PC the ability to use this stuff, the ability to hide it on his person (-3 to search rolls) and some method to replace lost or spent items.
Gas Bombs
Small spheres containing a special chemical substance that, on impact, produces a bright flash and releases a thick cloud of white smoke immediately after.
It works as a sort of combination flash/smoke grenade, but without the loud bang. Game effects are:
  1. To use one of these, either throw it where you want (using Throwing skill and rules) or do a Moderate (4) Sleight-of-Hand roll to drop one near your feet without alerting anyone in the vicinity.
  2. Anyone looking in the general direction of the explosion will have to roll a Difficult (6) Combat Sense or remain confused for the rest of the round.
    At the GM's discretion, the difficulty could be reduced if the targets already know this trick.
  3. Immediately after the explosion, the secondary area of effect will be obscured by the aforementioned smoke, imposing a -2 to any ranged skill use. This smoke lasts only 1 round after the one in which the explosion took place.
Please resist any attempt to abuse this. Be especially wary of players asking to pack more than the stated 3 grenades, or asking to mix tear-gas, acid or incendiary stuff in the original mix.
An extremely inconspicuous set of small metal implements used to pick simple key-based locks. They are usually little more than pieces of metallic wire, usually hidden in belt buckles, hat bands and shoe heels. They do not grant any bonus, but allow someone to at least try to pick a lock using the Mechanical skill. Good for house doors, manacles, but pretty ineffective against safe locks or good quality padlocks.
Micro Bolas
A micro-version of bolas, where the "rope" is made of thin and strong silk (dyed to a light gray for maximum invisibility) and a small, lead-weighted hook. Used to "grab" small items up to 2 meters away. Use Throwing skill, but consider that difficulty should never be less than Difficult (6), due to the fact that even a good throw may not guarantee a good "catch" on the target.
Good for grabbing the keys of the cell you are in from the peg on the wall while the sheriff is sleeping...

AGI: 1 APP: 0 BUI: 0 CRE: 1 FIT: 1
INF: 2 KNO: 0 PER: 1 PSY: 1 WIL: 1
STR: 0 HEA: 1 STA: 30 UD: 3 AD:3

Skill levels
Craft [Mechanical tricks]2+1
Human Perception2+1
Sleight of Hand2+1

Cost: (Attribute 36)/(Skills 34)

Typical Equipment: Stage tricks. Stage costume (could be a Tuxedo)
Typical Perks: Alter Ego, Ambidextrous, Contacts, Famous, Feign Death, Photographic Memory.
Typical Flaws: Belief, Debt, Liar, Poor, Quirk.


A darker, more sinister version of the Stage Magician is possible, give him a Circus background, some combat abilities and shadier contacts and you may end up with THE Cat.
Real magic will require specific rules, and the same goes for Hypnotism, Ventriloquism and other stage feats.