Val CHA Cost Roll Notes 25 STR 15 14- Lift 800 kg; 5d6 HTH Damage  23 DEX 39 14- OCV: 8/DCV: 8 23 CON 26 14- 18 BODY 16 13- 20 INT 10 13- PER Roll 15- 23 EGO 26 14- ECV: 8 23 PRE 13 14- PRE Attack: 4 1/2d6 20 COM 5 13- 10 PD 5 Total: 10 PD (0 rPD) 8 ED 3 Total: 8 ED (0 rED) 4 SPD 7 Phases: 3, 6, 9, 12 10 REC 0 50 END 2 45 STUN 2 Total Characteristic Cost: 169 Movement: Running: 7"/14" Flight: 9"/18" Leaping: 5"/10" Swimming: 4"/8" Cost Powers & Skills Martial Arts: Grappling Maneuver OCV DCV Damage 4 Choke -2 +0 Grab One Limb; 2d6 NND 3 Full Nelson -1 -1 Grab Two Limbs, 35 STR for holding on 4 Reversal -1 -2 40 STR to Escape; Grab Two Limbs 8 Victory Cry: +15 PRE; Fear-Based PRE Attacks Only (-1/2), Incantations (must howl; -1/4) 19 Bow: RKA 2d6, 30 Recoverable Charges (+3/4); OAF (-1), Required Hands Two-Handed (-1/2), Real Weapon (-1/4), [30 rc] 7 Knife: HKA 1d6-1 (1d6+1 w/STR), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2); OAF (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4) 11 Lasso: Stretching 3", Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2); Cannot Do Damage (-1/2), Always Direct (-1/4), No Noncombat Stretching (-1/4) 13 Brachiation: Flight 9", No Turn Mode (+1/4), Combat Acceleration/Deceleration (+1/4); Only On Appropriate Terrain (branches, trees, vines, and so on; -1/2), Must Land At The End Of Each Phase (-1/2), END 3 2 Swift: Running +1" (7" total), END 1 2 Strong Swimmer: Swimming +2" (4" total), END 1 6 Sharp Senses: +2 PER with all Sense Groups 5 Sharp Senses: Discriminatory with Normal Smell Perks 2 Contact: Lt. Paul d'Arnot 11- Talents 24 Danger Sense (self only, out of combat, Function as a Sense) 15- 3 Environmental Movement (no penalties on narrow surfaces (such as tree limbs and the like)) 3 Lightsleep Skills 16 +2 with All Combat 2 AK: The Local Jungle 11- 3 Acrobatics 14- 3 Breakfall 14- 3 Climbing 14- 2 PS: Ropemaking 11- 5 Shadowing 14- 3 Stealth 14- 11 Survival (Tropical Forests) 18- 1 TF: Small Motorized Ground Vehicles 11 Tracking 17- 2 WF: Bows, Knife, Lasso 3 Linguist 4 1) Language: English (idiomatic; literate) 3 2) Language: French (idiomatic) 0 3) Language: Mangani (idiomatic) 3 Scholar 2 1) KS: Ape Society 13- 2 2) KS: Jungle Flora and Fauna 13- 2 3) KS: The Jungle (people, myths and legends, and so on) 13- Total Powers & Skill Cost: 197 Total Cost: 366 200+ Disadvantages 15 DNPC: Jane Porter 11- (Normal) 10 Distinctive Features: Handsomeness, Stature (Concealable; Noticed and Recognizable; Detectable By Commonly-Used Senses) 15 Physical Limitation: Unfamiliar With Human Society (Frequently, Greatly Impairing) 15 Psychological Limitation: Hunter Not A Killer (Common, Strong) 10 Psychological Limitation: Noble (Common, Moderate) 5 Psychological Limitation: Joker/Prankster (Uncommon, Moderate) 15 Reputation: Forest Demon (Munango-Keewati), 11- (Extreme) 5 Rivalry: Romantic (Assorted Suitors Of Jane Porter; Rival is As Powerful; Seek to Outdo, Embarrass, or Humiliate Rival; Rival Aware of Rivalry) 76 Experience 366 Total Disadvantage Points
Background/History: In 1914 Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote Tarzan of the Apes, creating possibly the most famous pulp-era hero of them all. Tarzan would go on to star in 22 sequels, as well as numerous films (both good and bad). As of this writing, the most recent incarnation of Tarzan is Disney's animated Tarzan, which despite the typical Disneyisms (i.e. song and dance routines and the like) was fairly decent, and FOX Television's Tarzan in New York, which just looks horrible.
The story of Tarzan runs like this: in 1888 John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, and his wife, Alice Clayton, were marooned by mutineers on the coast of Africa. There Lord Greystoke built a home for himself and his wife, and fathered a child. Unfortunately the attack of a great anthropoid ape drove Alice mad, and she died a year to the day after the birth of her child. Lord Greystoke, overcome with grief, didn't close the door to his cabin properly, and fell victim to Kerchak, a huge bull ape.
At about this time, Kala, another anthropoid ape, was grieving over the loss of her infant son. Hearing the cries issuing from the small cabin near the sea, her mother's instincts over came her fear of the cabin (and Kerchak) and she ventured in to find a crying baby. Swapping the live child for the body of her dead one, she promptly adopted the squalling infant for her own and fled before any of the apes could kill it.
It should be pointed out Burroughs's apes are not gorillas but a more savage, anthropoid cousin. These creatures have a primitive language, and Burroughs likens them to the infamous "missing link." In any event, Kala's new infant is named "Tarzan" which means "white-skin" in the ape language.
Tarzan grows quickly over the intervening years, and life in the jungle makes him fantastically strong and agile. He discovers his parent's cabin when he is 10 years old, finding both a hunting knife and all of his parent's books. Eventually he teaches himself to read English, as well as gaining some knowledge of how to use his knife, make a lasso, and make clothing.
In his 18th year, Tarzan's mother is killed by a warrior from a native tribe that moves into the area. Tarzan is fascinated by the new people, and after killing his mother's murderer, decides to learn more about these men who look like him. He steals ornaments, food, and a bow, eventually add archery to his list of skills.
At the age of 20 (circa 1910), Tarzan's world was changed by the arrival of another shipload of pirates and mutineers (such coincidence runs rampant through ERB's books). This time the people being marooned include Professor Archimedes Q. Porter, his daughter Jane, valet Samuel T. Philander, Esmeralda the maid, and their guide, William Cecil Clayton (Tarzan's cousin). Tarzan rescues this group from the dangers of the jungle, falls in love with Jane, and assists (in a roundabout way) in defeating the pirates.
The Porters end up leaving Tarzan behind after the pirates are taken care of by a French warship. Tarzan, meanwhile, is busy nursing Lt. Paul d'Arnot back to health, after he was wounded fighting the same native tribe that killed Kala. D'Arnot teaches Tarzan French, and travels with him up the coast to civilization. From there, the duo travel to Paris, and eventually, Tarzan tracks Jane to Wisconsin. At this point the book effectively ends (read it if you want to know all the details), with a teaser about further adventures in a second book.
Personality/Motivation: Tarzan's Psych Lims represent the fact Tarzan does not kill wantonly, but only if he is hungry or has a specific need (Note this idea is contradicted in the story to a slight extent. At one point ERB writes Tarzan will kill for pleasure, but later he has Tarzan state he will not kill a lion as he is not currently hungry. I thought the latter idea made for a better character and went with it). Tarzan is also "noble," which is hard to define exactly, but is related to ERB's ideas about "superior breeding" and "aristocratic blood." Basically Tarzan acts in a somewhat selfless manner, aiding others without a second thought for himself. Finally, Tarzan is (at least when he is younger) a practical joker of sorts, with the butt of most of his pranks being the local native village.
Quote: "I was born there [in the jungle] My mother was an Ape, and of course she couldn't tell me much about it. I never knew who my father was."
Powers/Tactics: Okay, let's get this straight right now: Tarzan is a virtual superman (small "s"). Burroughs states he is muscled like a Roman gladiator, with the sort of slim lines one would expect of a Greek god. At age 10 he was as strong as a man of 30, and his speed is such that he is faster than lions and leopards. He teaches himself how to read, how to tie knots and make rope, and how to use a bow. Tarzan learns languages astonishingly fast and in a few short months goes from forest savage to passable modern man. There is little that he cannot accomplish, and anything he can't do he will quickly learn how to do.
Most of his powers and skills are self-explanatory, being the result of his forest upbringing (which has served to heighten his senses and physical abilities). Running down the list, we get the following:
Martial Arts: Through tumbling and wrestling with his fellow apes, and while fighting for survival versus his rival Tarzan stumbles on the mechanics of the Full and Half-Nelson. He eventually learns other grappling maneuvers as well.
Tarzan has paid for his equipment as he is a 150 point base character. The knife belonged to his father, while the lasso is something he learned to make himself. The bow and arrows were stolen from a native warrior.
Tarzan's victory cry is supposed to be the bellow of a bull ape. It is loud and terrifying and will send animals fleeing.
The brachiation power represents Tarzan's extreme speed through the trees. He virtually flies along, and doesn't slip or fall (unless the plot demands it).
Appearance: Burroughs never actually describes Tarzan directly, but does give us a good idea of his appearance based on the reactions of others. We do know that Tarzan is very tall (ERB calls him a "giant" repeatedly), with sun-browned skin and long black hair. Jane considers him to be the handsomest man she has ever seen, and calls him a "forest god." Due to his life in the jungle and amid the apes, Tarzan is in fantastical physical shape, well-muscled and incredibly strong. He is also normally naked—at least for the first 15-16 years of his life—until he gains some idea of clothing and fashions a crude loincloth for himself.
As a side note, Tarzan was almost scalped at young age by the bull-ape Terkoz and has an almost invisible scar on his forehead as a result. This scar will turn red when Tarzan is angry and/or outraged or in a fierce fight.
(Tarzan created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, character sheet created by Michael Surbrook)