Background/History: No one’s sure what to make of the woman who calls herself Johansson. It’s not even clear if “Johansson” is her real name. The “Sniper” part came about after a few locals got a chance to see her shoot. Upon being asked if she was some sort of sniper, Johansson replied with: “Sniper? I like that. You can call me that from now on.” What is known is that “Sniper” rolled into the SoCal City States about 18 months ago, looking worn, weary, and in need of warm food, cold drink, and a hot bath. While these needs didn’t make her all that different from any number of other drifters who wander though the City States, the long laser rifle she toted quickly became a topic of discussion.
Taking a room in a public boarding house, Sniper soon made a name for herself by gunning down three would-be thieves with her revolver. A week later, she went from possible town-troublemaker to town hero when she used her laser rifle to dispatch a number of marauding biker bandits (this stunt resulted to her current nickname.) These two events caused the locals to reassess their opinion of Sniper. While she did seem a bit... odd, she was a dead shot with firearms, a capable hand-to-hand combatant, and could obviously take care of herself. So they asked her to serve as sort of on-call troubleshooter (which these days means Sniper usually ends up shooting any trouble that crops up.) Sniper, for her part, gets free room and board out of the deal and seems quite content.
Personality/Motivation: When Sniper first arrived in SoCal, she was dusty, dirty, and closed-mouthed. These days she’s usually dusty (the standard condition for everyone these days,) bathes often, and still won’t talk about where she’s from. The locals (rightly) assume she’s a former military operative, but aren’t too sure as to what army. A few dropped comments (usually uttered when Sniper’s drunk) have indicated she’s a refugee (and/or deserter) from the Iron City Imperium, a military dictatorship located far to the east.
As town bounty hunter and troubleshooter, Sniper tends to either laze about the city streets (often by sitting out front of the local saloons) or take a long walks among the outposts on the edge of town. She’s never seen without her duster when she goes out, but the rest of her clothing is subject to the whims of the weather. That said, she’s been progressively discarding bits of clothing as time goes by. Local speculation has her down to boots, a bikini, and her coat by the end of the year. In keeping with her self-adopted ‘Wild West’ image, Sniper often affects a (admittedly terrible) Texas drawl, drinks whiskey by the bottle, and smokes cigars and cigarillos (when she can get them.)
Quote: “Anyone remember the old days? When you had to adjust for wind, rotation, drop, and drift? Now it’s so much easier... I just point, get the range (2,000 meters), and... one... two... three.... Click! Death by flashlight.”
Powers/Tactics: Possessing an advanced Pre-War laser rifle means Sniper doesn’t feel the need to be polite when dealing with those who’ve worn out their welcome. Considering the weapon’s length (it’s nearly as along as she is tall,) she’ll support it by keeping the sling strap on her shoulder and fire the rifle from the hip (it’s more intimidating that way.) When dealing with threats outside of town (such as the aforementioned biker bandits,) she’ll set her rifle up so she can use the weapon’s range and sight to best advantage and, well, snipe at targets. She tends to go for leader-types first, feeling that cutting off the head often kills the body. If there’s no real commander to shoot at, Sniper will fire on the most dangerous individuals present, which usually means those people with the largest vehicles or heaviest weapons.
Aside from her obvious skill with a rifle, Sniper is also an excellent shot with a pistol, and has obvious martial arts training. This, along with her skills dealing with vehicle repair and maintenance, orienteering, first aid, and the like, further reinforces the theory that she’s ex-military. In addition, after Sniper rigged up some solar cells to provide power (used to recharge her rifle,) she expanded her town duties to include acting as an assistant handyman, helping to keep what electronic and mechanical devices the town has still running.
Appearance: Of average height, Sniper’s curvaceous well-toned body is displayed to good effect by her current choice of costume. She wears (once-white) thigh-high boots, black jeans cut down to short shorts, a bikini top, and a an extremely ragged and tattered leather duster. Her long red hair (which she apparently never cuts) is bound up into a ponytail, but still manages to fall well past her shoulders. Her pistol is kept in a holster she belts low around her waist, while her precious laser rifle is kept slung over one shoulder.
Designer's Notes: Based on a statute of Yoko Litner (one of the main characters in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann,) “Sniper” Johansson is a sort of tongue-in-cheek take on your typical post-apocalyptic drifter (akin to the sorts of characters you’d find in the Fallout series of games.) As her Skills should show, yes she’s ex-military and probably left the Iron City Imperium on rather poor terms. Most other details, such as where she found her laster rifle, what her real name is, and what she did before she arrived in the SoCal City States is up to you, the GM.
Sniper is best used as background color and/or a quirky one-shot encounter. She’s really, really good with her gun and may overshadow the PCs. On the other hand, she might just fit right in to the local power level and could make for an amusing GMPC, especially if you crib most of her dialogue from Sergio Leone westerns. To make Sniper more powerful, up her STR, CON, EGO, and PRE, give her a SPD of 4, add a Damage Class or two to her Martial Arts, and make her +2 with Small Arms affect all attacks. To make her less powerful, remove her Martial Arts, and reduce her Skill Levels as needed.
(Character sheet created by Michael Surbrook)