Val CHA Cost Roll Notes 20 STR 10 13- Lift 400 kg; 4d6 HTH Damage  21 DEX 22 13- 20 CON 10 13- 15 INT 5 12- PER Roll 14- 18 EGO 8 13- 20 PRE 10 13- PRE Attack: 4d6 7 OCV 20 7 DCV 20 3 OMCV 0 6 DMCV 9 4 SPD 20 Phases: 3, 6, 9, 12 9 PD 4 Total: 9 PD (3 rPD) 9 ED 4 Total: 9 ED (3 rED) 8 REC 4 40 END 4 15 BODY 5 35 STUN 8 Total Characteristics Cost: 163 Movement: Running: 12m/24m Leaping: 4m/8m Swimming: 4m/8m Cost Powers & Skills Martial Arts: Boxing, Dirty Infighting, Wrestling Maneuver OCV DCV Damage 4 Choke -2 +0 Grab One Limb; 2d6 NND 4 Cross, Punch +0 +2 6d6 Strike Notes: Also, Swordfighting Cut 4 Dodge -- +5 Dodge, Affects All Attacks, Abort Notes: Also Swordfighting Evade 4 Escape +0 +0 35 STR vs. Grabs 5 Hook, Roundhouse -2 +1 8d6 Strike Notes: Also Swordfighting Slash 3 Take Down +2 +1 4d6 Strike; You Fall, Target Falls 1 Weapon Element: Blades Martial Arts: Swordsmanship Maneuver OCV DCV Damage 4 Counterstrike +2 +2 Weapon +2 DC Strike, Must Follow Block 4 Parry +2 +2 Block, Abort 5 Thrust +1 +3 Weapon Strike 5 "Flogged Failing Powers [with his] Driving Will": Aid END 1d6, Delayed Fade Rate (points fade at the rate of 5 per Minute; +1); Only to Aid Self (-1), Requires A Roll (EGO roll; -½), END 1 17 Tough In A Fight: Physical Damage Reduction, Resistant, 50%; STUN Only (-½), Character Must Be Aware Of Attack (-¼) 6 "Eyes Were Keen As A Hawk's": +2 PER with all Sense Groups 5 "Could See Like A Cat In The Dark": Nightvision 10 Pulp Hero's Good Fortune: Luck 2d6 Perks 6 "Known By Repute From Stamboul To The China Sea": Positive Reputation: "Where Thou Walkest, Thee Swords Are Crimsoned And Men Die", also "[El Borak's] Words Are Not Wind" (peoples of Central Asia) 14-, +3/+3d6 3 Well-Connected 2 1) Contact: Al Wazier (Good relationship with Contact) 11- 4 2) Contact: Amir Of Kabul (Contact has very useful Skills or resources, Good relationship with Contact) 11- 3 3) Contact: Baber Khan (Very Good relationship with Contact) 11- 8 4) Contact: People Of Attalus (Good relationship with Contact), Organization Contact (x3) 11- Talents 6 "The Edge Slit His Shirt And The Skin Beneath": Combat Luck (3 PD/3 ED) 22 "It Was The Scruff Of Swift Stealthy Feet... That Warned Gordon": Danger Sense (self only, out of combat, Function as a Sense) 14-/12- 3 "Stealthy Clink Of Steel On Stone Awakened Gordon": Lightsleep Skills 24 +2 Overall 20 "Most Dangerous Man With Any Sort Of Weapon": +2 with All Attacks 8 "At That Range He Could Not Miss": +4 versus Range Modifiers with Rifles 3 "Years Spent In The Orient [allowed him] To Pass For A Native": Acting 13- 3 "Hit On His Feet Like A Cat": Breakfall 13- 10 "Shifted Position Constantly": Defense Maneuver I-IV 3 "In The Guise Of A Wandering Afghan": Disguise 12- 5 Climbing 14- 3 Fast Draw: Blades 13- 3 "Infernally Quick With A Gun": Fast Draw: Handguns 13- 3 Paramedics 12- 2 PS: Soldier Of Fortune 11- 3 Riding 13- 3 "Glided Out... As Silently As A Great Cat": Stealth 13- 5 Survival (Desert, Mountain, Temperate/Subtropical Plains) 12- 5 Tactics 13- 3 Tracking 12- 1 TF: Camels, Equines 5 "On His Feet With Both Guns Blazing": Two-Weapon Fighting; Handguns Only (-1) 5 WF: Common Melee Weapons, Small Arms, Thrown Knives 3 Scholar 1 1) KS: "Scientific Knowledge Of Weight Lifting" 11- 4 2) KS: History Of Central Asia 14- 4 3) KS: Peoples Of Central Asia 14- 4 4) KS: Political World Of Central Asia 14- 4 5) KS: Who's Who In Central Asia 14- 3 Linguist 3 1) Language: Arabic (Eastern) (completely fluent; literate) 0 2) Language: English (idiomatic; literate) 2 3) Language: Greek (Koine) (completely fluent) 2 4) Language: Kirghiz (completely fluent) 2 5) Language: Kurdish (completely fluent) 2 6) Language: Old Persian (completely fluent) 4 7) Language: Pashto (idiomatic; literate) 2 8) Language: Russian (completely fluent) 2 9) Language: Tatar (completely fluent) 2 10) Language: Turkish (completely fluent) 3 Traveler 2 1) AK: Afghanistan 12- 2 2) AK: Central Asia 12- 2 3) CK: Kabul 12- 4 4) CuK: Cultures And Customs Of Central Asia 14- Total Powers & Skill Cost: 313 Total Cost: 475 400+ Matching Complications (75) 10 Hunted: Blood-Foes Scattered Across Central Asia Infrequently (As Pow; Harshly Punish) 20 Psychological Complication: Code OF Vengeance—Blood Must Pay For Blood (Common; Total) 15 Psychological Complication: Lives For The Moment, "Confident In His Destiny" (Common; Strong) 15 Psychological Complication: Personal Code Of Honor (Common; Strong) 15 Social Complication: Wanted ManÑThe Turks Have A Price For His Head Infrequently, Severe 5 Unluck: 1d6 75 Experience Points Total Complications Points: 75
Background/History: Born in El Paso, Texas sometime in the middle to late 19th Century, the man the people of the Middle East call “El Borak” (meaning “the swift”) apparently spent his formative years on the remnants of the American frontier. He fought Yaqui Indians and from them learned the arts of stealth and patience while on the hunt. At some point he went to sea, sailing across the globe before fetching up somewhere in the Middle East. Deciding to stay, he headed inland, eventually becoming known as “the most terrible knife-fighter north of the Khyber [River.”]
Personality/Motivation: Gordon seems to remain in central Asia due to a “unquenchable thirst for adventure.” Unlike certain other of Howard’s heroes, he has no direct ties to his adopted home (such as Bran Mak Morn’s or Kull’s royal responsibilities), but instead seems to stay because the mountains of Afghanistan (and the surrounding countries) are a hotbed of political intrigue, with plots, counter-plots, spies, assassins, and tribal wars all mixed in with European meddling. A solider of fortune can find more than enough work there, and thus, Gordon’s time is well-occupied.
Personally, Gordon tends to act boldly, in both words and deeds, although his physical prowess is such that he can almost always back up his words with deeds. He often takes extreme chances, makes promises with no idea as to how he’s to fulfill them, or asserts facts without bothering to check them before hand. However, his extreme (over-)confidence in his own destiny allows him to almost always succeed in his endeavors. His reputation reflects this, as Gordon is known to “live where others die” and to “back his play with hot lead and cold steel.”
While he’s “confident in his destiny,” Gordon is no fool. He’ll bluff if he can, fight if needed, and escape if pressed, but he won’t take suicidal or stupid chances. He also doesn’t make idle boasts or displays of egotism. Gordon tends to be direct and to the point, for as his reputation states “[his] words are not wind” and when he speaks, he speaks truly. He also has a strong person code—he won’t gun a man down in code blood (or shoot them in the back), keeps his promises and his word, and will take vengeance on those who harm (or attempt to harm) his followers.
Quote: "Let’s don’t be too hasty about plundering. We’ll have to deliver the city to the officers of the Amir, but I think I can persuade him to make you governor of the city. ... The Amir will wish to reward me for my part in this affair. I will ask him to place you in charge of the city. Governor of Shalizar—how does that sound, Baber Khan?"
Powers/Tactics: A man of great physical strength, Gordon also lives up to his nickname of “El Borak.” He learned sword-fighting in the Afghan mountain wars, and his skill with the pistol is the stuff of legend. He’s almost unmatched with the blade, but is equally skilled with all weapons, and even unarmed is capable of laying a man out cold with a single punch. If involved in a fight, he’ll use whatever’s best—a rifle versus enemies who are far way, a pistol up close, and a sword if a pistol would be too noisy or if it’s empty. He is also quite skilled at unarmed combat, knowing a mixture of boxing and wrestling.
When fighting isn’t the answer, Gordon’s long years spent in central Asia have given him command of nearly a dozen languages (if not more), as well as the ability to disguise himself as a member of any number of local tribesmen (he seems to prefer Kurds.) He’s quite adept as imitation and more than once has infiltrated a forbidden city or strong hold in the guise of a local.
Appearance: Shorter than average for a man of his era, Gordon is at once compact and muscular in build, yet lithe and quick in his movements. He moves with a flowing ease and has a muscular build almost out of proportion to his height. His skin has been darkened by extended exposure to the sun, while his straight hair is as black as a Native American’s, as are his eyes. He normally dresses in a Western shirt and trousers, but will readily adapt more native garb if needed. While he can speak innumerable languages fluently, his English has a slight Southern accent.
Gordon normally carriers a scimitar, a knife, a revolver or automatic pistol, and a rifle (usually a British-made Lee-Enfleild.)
Designer's Notes: Francis Xavier Gordon is one of several Middle Eastern adventurers created by Robert E. Hoard. He only appeared in a small handful of stories, one of which, Three-Bladed Doom, was rewritten as a Conan story titled The Flame Knife by L. Sprague de Camp. Creating his character was a tad frustrating, as Howard gives us virtually nothing about his background, such as where he’s from, where he’s been before he came to Afghanistan, or even when it is (or, how old Gordon is.) The closest we get to an approximate date for his adventures is 1917, as given in Son of the White Wolf (which takes place during World War I, and mentions Lawrence of Arabia.)
his character sheet was developed from the Del Rey Robert E Howard collection El Borak and Other Desert Adventures. As with my other adaptations of Howard’s characters to HERO System, I used only what was in the book itself. However, as you can see, Howard packs a lot into his stories, and at 495 points, Gordon is nigh on to a one-man army.
(Francis Xavier Gordon created by Robert E Howard, character sheet created by Michael Surbrook)