Introductory Comments

I first stated gaming around 1978, when I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons. I followed that up with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, The Fantasy Trip (a.k.a. Melee and Wizard) Rolemaster, Traveller, and a few other odds and ends. Although listing all of these systems may sound impressive, none of them went beyond single shot (i.e. one session) hack-and-slash affairs that were more roll-playing than role-playing.

This all changed in the spring of 1985, when I was given my first introduction to Champions. Initially an observer, I sat in on a session or two and watched how people played the game and ran their adventures. Around June, my friend Steve Kramer decided he was going to run his own superhero campaign. To make matters simple, he was going to set it in the here-and-now, and the players would all play themselves as superheroes.

The initial runs were fairly haphazard, with players dropping out of sight almost as soon as the campaign started. The game would probably have died, and my interest lost, if not for Steve attending college. There he found a large number of gamers and his campaign (known as Nightwatch or Night Watch) took off. It lasted for something like seven or eight years, and spawned a number of secondary campaigns. The cast grew to well over one hundred Player Characters and major NPCs, and for a while it was the campaign to be involved in.

The Nightwatch campaign holds a special place in my heart. For starters, it introduced me to a number of new people, and opened me up to the world of comic books. It indirectly led to my meeting Nestor Rodriguez (a former member of the Haymaker! crowd), and it allowed me my first stint at being a Game Master. My initial GM forays were fairly pathetic, and spurred on by the desire to create my own world (and do it right) I created the Justice Alliance universe. This then led me to work on new projects, one of which would eventually evolve into Kazei 5.

Avalon was the first Champions character I ever created (with help from the aforementioned Steve Kramer). His origin is loosely based off of Magick's (a.k.a. Illanna Nikolaevna Rasputin) from the New Mutants/X-Men/whatever-they-are-called-now line from Marvel Comics. I think Steve was the one who suggested it, since Im pretty sure I knew nothing about the character or the book at the time. I would love to present his original character sheet, but alas, some 10 to 12 years ago my bookbag was stolen out of my car and the sheet was lost. Avalon is supposed to be me, but I can tell you with full confidence he quickly evolved beyond that concept. Avalon is, in fact, much like the narrator in Edgar Rice Burroughs The Land That Time Forgot, who states roughly turn the page and I will be forgotten. With Avalon, once you get beyond the first half of his origin story, who he originally was becomes a fact to be quickly discarded in favor of more important (and interesting) developments.

Since most of Avalon's history is fairly universe specific (and/or boring), I've edited his background to just the basics. I've also included a large amount of material that never appeared during his Nightwatch days, but was created whole cloth for his appearance in the Crossover 98 PBEM campaign. Game Masters who chose to use Avalon in their games should simply select those elements they find most useful, and discard the rest.

Val	CHA	Cost	Roll	Notes
15	STR	5	12-	Lift 200 kg; 3d6 HTH Damage [1]
24	DEX	28	14-
23	CON	13	14-
23	INT	13	14-	PER Roll 14-
26	EGO	16	14-
20	PRE	10	13-	PRE Attack:  4d6

8	OCV	25
8	DCV	25
9	OMCV	18
9	DMCV	18
5	SPD	30		Phases:  3, 5, 8, 10, 12

10+12	PD	8		Total:  10/22 PD (0/12 rPD)
8+12	ED	6		Total:  8/20 ED (0/12 rED)
10	REC	6
50	END	6
10	BODY	0
30	STUN	5		Total Characteristics Cost:  235

Movement:	Running:	14m/28m 
		Leaping:	6m/12m
		Swimming:	4m/8m

Cost    Powers & Skills
150	Sorcery:  Variable Power Pool (Magic Pool), 120 base + 120 control cost, Can Be Changed Only 
	In A Given Circumstance (with access to spellbooks; -½), Limited Class Of Powers Available 
	(magical telepathic/telekinetic effects; -¼); all slots Gestures (-¼)

25	Enchanted Wizard's Staff:  Multipower, 50-point reserve, all slots OAF (-1)
2f	1)  Magical Energy:  Blast 10d6; OAF (-1), 6 Charges (-¾), [6]
1f	2)  Shaft:  HA +4d6, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½); OAF (-1), Hand-To-Hand Attack (-¼)
1f	3)  Reach:  Stretching 1m; OAF (-1)

	Martial Art:  Aikijutsu
	Maneuver	OCV	DCV	Damage
4	Dodge		--	+5	Dodge, Affects All Attacks, Abort
4	Escape		+0	+0	30 STR vs. Grabs
3	Hold		-1	-1	Grab Two Limbs, 25 STR for holding on
5	Redirect	+1	+3	Block, Abort
5	Strike		+1	+3	3d6 Strike
3	Takedown	+1	+1	3d6 Strike; Target Falls
2	Use Art With Blades, Staff

18	Enchanted Pendant:  Resistant Protection (12 PD/12 ED); OAF (-1)
15	Mystic Shields:  Mental Defense (15 points total)
1	Long Lived:  LS  (Longevity: 200 Years)

4	Contact:  Victoria Fontaine (Contact has very useful Skills or resources) 11-
25	Familiars:  Followers:  Bast, Herrick, Mannan Mac Lir (3 x 75 Point Base)
5	Money:  Well Off

3	+1/+1d6 Striking Appearance

18	+3 with all Mental Powers
3	+1 with Akijutsu

3	Breakfall 14-
3	Charm 13-
3	Cryptography 14-
5	Language:  English (idiomatic; literate)
4	Language:  Limboese (completely fluent; literate)
3	Paramedics 14-
3	Power:  Sorcery 14-
3	PS: Artist 14-
3	WF:  Blades, Handguns, Staffs
3	Scholar
3	1)  KS: Dimensional Navigation and Travel 15-
5	2)  KS: Magic and the Magical World 17-
2	3)  KS: Magical Creatures 14-
2	4)  KS: Magical Places 14-
2	5)  KS: Nightwatch 14-
3	KS: Western North America 11-
1	1)  AK: Australia 11-
1	2)  AK: England 11-
2	3)  AK: Limbo 14-
1	4)  AK: Maryland 11-
1	5)  AK: Western North America 11-

Total Powers & Skill Cost:  355
Total Cost:  590

400+	Matching Complications (75)
0	Hunted:  Federal Agency for Special Tactics Infrequently (Mo Pow; NCI; Limited Geographical 
	Area; Watching)
25	Hunted:  Morgan le Fay Frequently (Mo Pow; NCI; Harshly Punish)
0	Physical Complication:  Poor Eyesight (near and far-sighted) (Infrequently; Greatly Impairing)
15	Psychological Complication:  Arrogant, Haughty, Egotistical, and/or Overconfident—take your 
	pick (Common; Strong)
15	Psychological Complication:  Dedicated To Defending The Earth (Common; Strong)
20	Vulnerability:  2 x STUN Fire-Based Attacks (Common)

Total Complications Points:  75
Experience Points:  190

Background/History: Considering that he is one of he most powerful sorcerers in the world, the man known as Avalon du Lac is of extremely modest beginnings. He was born Michael David Surbrook in the year 1967, and led a relatively normal life, until one spring day in early 1985....

On this day Michael Surbrook was involuntarily brought to the extra-dimensional world of Limbo. He’d been summoned by a sorcerer named Owen the Gray, who was desperate to find allies in an upcoming battle with the evil wizard Dark Majister. Owen hadn’t been looking for Michael specifically, but realized he’d have to make do. Thus, Owen made Michael a proposal; if Michael would work with Owen and help him to understand Majister’s technology, Owen would take Michael as an apprentice and train him in the magical arts. Unable to come up with a better plan, Michael agreed.

The Magewar with Dark Majister was a long and brutal affair, but eventually Owen the Gray and his allies were able to achieve victory. After the conflict was over, Michael—who desired to continue his training, elected to stay in Limbo, where he remained for a full seven years. During this time Michael completed his schooling in the magical arts and was recognized as a fully-skilled magician in his own right. This event was marked by Michael being given the name of Avalon. In addition, it was around this point that Michael (now Avalon) fell in love with the weatherwitch Loriden. But Avalon’s newfound peace was not to last, and eventually he found himself being returned to Earth, to deal with new and unknown threats.

Upon returning to Earth, Avalon was amazed to find that only a mere two months had passed, and his disappearance was still fresh in many people’s minds. He also found the world in the midst of a great change, as more and more people with strange magical and paranormal powers were appearing almost daily.

Joining forces with a group of like-minded individuals, Avalon became a founding member of the group Nightforce, which consisted of himself, Darkwave, Mastodon, and Taliesian. However, Nightforce existed for only a short time, with Darkwave and Mastodon quickly going their separate ways. Undaunted, Avalon and Taliesian renamed themselves “Nightwatch” and shortly thereafter, a man by the name of Jeddidiah Rikane offered to become Nightwatch’s financial backer, supplying the group with transportation and housing.

The years following Rikane’s initial sponsorship of Nightwatch were turbulent ones for Avalon. He experienced many adventures, both on this world and others, while Nightwatch itself underwent many incarnations, with its membership changing numerous times. Eventually, Nightwatch broke up and Avalon secluded himself in his home in rural Maryland, to deal with and counter various threats of a magical nature—threats Avalon felt only he was capable of dealing with.

As time passed, Avalon realized he needed to start anew. He started by taking an apprentice, one Maya Connery, and eventually married her, taking the first step to founding his own clan of magicians. He also met his perviously unknown daughter, Ashley le Fay-du Lac, and learned the truth of her parentage. And finally, he became a father for a second time, and with the birth of his daughter Midori, settled down to raise a family.

Personality/Motivation: Due to his experiences fighting in the Magewar in Limbo, as well as his stint as leader of Nightwatch, Avalon has come to realize that the Earth needs more than just a typical group of costumed “superheroes” to defend it. The Earth also requires someone who can recognize and counter strange and unusual threats—specifically threats of a magical nature. Avalon has appointed himself to be that someone, and is dedicated to acting as the Earth’s first line of defense against a wide assortment of mystical threats.

Avalon’s self-imposed responsibility has made him almost self-sacrificing. He is willing to oppose any threat, even if doing so will mean his death, simply because he believes someone must do so. In addition, he often refuses to back down or run away from a threatening situation, feeling that someone must stay and offer some form of defense. He is not stupid however, and will cut and run, if the situation is beyond his current means to control.

Regardless of these lofty ideas and goals, many people find Avalon to be arrogant and egotistical, with a thinly disguised air of superiority. This is, to an extent, true. Avalon feels his experiences are beyond the ken of most people (which is true, to an extent), and that he doesn’t have to explain himself to those who don’t (or can’t) understand what it is he faces on a regular basis.

In keeping with his almost aristocratic mentality, Avalon is very vain, and is highly concerned with his visual image and how he is perceived by others. He has an appreciation for fine things and physical luxuries, and before his marriage had a highly exploitable weakness for beautiful women.

Quote: "I am Avalon, a sorcerer, and this is my world. I will defend it, unto the death if need be."

Powers/Tactics: Avalon is one of (if not the) most powerful sorcerers of his age. His knowledge concerning the various workings of magic is phenomenal, as are his spell-casting abilities. Avalon has at his command a vast array of spells and enchantments, dealing mainly with various mental disciplines. Typically he utilizes spells involving illusions, mental attacks, mental control, telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, levitation, and dimensional travel. In addition he is an expert on occult matters, and is an excellent source of information on such subjects as magical and mythical beings, creatures, places, and objects.

Along with his impressive array of spells, Avalon possesses a pair of enchanted artifacts. The first of these is his “wizard’s staff.” Some five feet in length, with a metal cap on either end, this staff has a large white crystal mounted at the top, and is capable of projecting bolts of pure mystic energy. The second is a large pendant (a gift from Loriden) that Avalon can be used to create a defense field around his person. Although he may go without his wizard’s staff, Avalon never parts with his pendant.

Avalon in his library.

Appearance: Avalon du Lac stands 5’10”, and weighs a lean 170 pounds. His white hair is worn long, and falls to the middle of his back, while his gray eyes reside behind a pair of bifocal glasses (Avalon has exceedingly poor eyesight).

Avalon’s exact age is a subject of some confusion. He was born in 1967, and should be in his mid-thirties. However, his time spent in other dimensions means he is closer to fifty years of age. Physically, he looks to be in his mid-twenties. Apparently, Avalon ages at a slower rate than most people and can expect to live another 200 years or so.

Avalon’s normal mode of dress is an archaic costume consisting of a lace shirt, long coat, trousers, boots and a long cloak. The coat, cloak, and trousers are blue, with silver trim and lining. The lace shirt can be of any color (white is common), while the boots are of brown leather. When at home, Avalon tends to dress in a more casual manner, although he does take pains to present an appearance befitting his station at all times (his wife, Maya, is a great help in this regard).

Designer’s Notes: In order to streamline his background, I removed a few things which I will detail here.

The Campaign: The Nightwatch game used the premise that the game world was perfectly normal and exactly like the “real” world right up until the game began. At that point, the universe changed. Retconning eventually established that the world at one time had been full of magic (hence certain specific legends and myths) but that it had all “gone away” at some unspecified point in the past (vaguely around the death of King Arthur as I recall).

The magic returned around the time Michael was taken away to Limbo. This caused a magical “White Event” (you know... Marvel’s failed New Universe?), which altered the laws of probability and allowed all sorts of strange things to happen (like superheroes). As can be expected, the campaign was very magic heavy for a long time, and featured a lot of magically powered and/or using characters. Later, as things progressed, we started to introduce such elements as gods (actually, avatars of immensely powerful people who might as well be gods), aliens, time travel, other dimensions, and so on.

His Name: The Game Master gave me (and thus Avalon) his name. Later, I added the “du Lac” (of the Lake) in keeping with the Arthurian myth connection. There never was any real meaning to the choice of names.

Bast, Herrick, Mannan Mac Lir: Herrick the dragon was Avalon's original familiar. The other two I came up with at one point when I worked on an idea for a future version of Avalon in a dimension-hopping adventure I used in my Justice Alliance campaign.

Loriden: Avalon’s first love was a woman named Loriden. She was tall (close to 6’ in height), blonde, with violet eyes. She had an Elemental Control based around weather effects (probably similar to Midori du Lac’s [see below]). She left him after she learned of Avalon’s many affairs while he was on Earth and she was in Limbo (for a while Avalon was quite the player—I blame the GM).

Morgan le Fay: In one of the side campaigns, a player brought in a character by the name of Sir Galahad (yes, that Sir Galahad), and his squire Gareth. Galahad lasted about two runs before being dropped in favor of someone else. Anyway, Galahad had been sent to the present by Morgan le Fay, who had wanted him out of the way while she worked her wiles on Arthur’s court. Although Galahad wandered off into obscurity (I think he ended up getting killed somewhere down the line), Morgan remained, eventually becoming Avalon’s arch-nemesis.

Avalon and Morgan first met... hmmm... I have no idea when they met really. I recall Avalon meeting a 16 year-old Morgan at one point, but at the time he had no idea who she was. She in turn, trapped him with a spell (Watch Mike screw-up big time!), and seduced him. She ended up pregnant, hence the origin of Avalon’s first daughter, Ashley le Fay-du Lac. I think afterwards Avalon tossed Morgan through a dimensional rift to get rid of her (or something like that...). Naturally, she came back.

Victoria Fontaine: Victoria is a tall woman, with long reddish hair and a very attractive face and (buxom) figure. She is in excellent physical shape, and in her younger days (which wasn’t all that long ago) was an international adventurer of sorts, finding and gathering up lost art objects, artifacts, and treasures from around the world. Currently she lives off of her considerable wealth (most of it inherited). She also spends a lot of time playing the stock market and dealing in various commodities. Like many of the ultra-rich in the Washington DC area, she has a huge house down in Potomac. Finally, she’s the woman who financed Avalon’s book of art that featured sketches, drawings and paintings of numerous superheroes.

Avalon's Hero Designer File

(Character sheet created by Michael Surbrook)

Avalon the Sorcerer

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