High Level Toon Tuesday: Bram the (Experimental) Ape Boy Tech (Rifts)

Apologies for the lateness of this post, I am fast approaching the end of my pregnancy and also experiencing a lot of familial stress in the meantime. Due to the impending birth of our second child (which may indeed have already occured by the time this is posted), I will also be taking an indeterminate break from regular posts as we adjust to life as parents of a teenager, a toddler, AND a newborn. Hopefully we can instill a love of dice and gaming in this little one just like we have in the older two.

Now, the gorilla species of Ape Boys aren’t considered to be as intelligent as a chimpanzee type, and as such couldn’t become a techy O.C.C. normally. But I am also offered a bit of creative discretion and experimentation (which makes this character playable only with DM approval) with the following text on page 94 of Lone Star;

“The fact that mutant animals escape from the Lone Star Genetics Complex is neither carelessness or sloth on the part of the soldiers assigned to that post. Less than two percent truly escape of their own volition. The vast majority are secretly released (often the product of secret experiments to begin with) or allowed to escape. Administrator Desmond Bradford, or one of his cronies are usually behind these “escapes.” Bradford and the scientists who regularly engage in unauthorized (even treasonous) genetic experiments, engineer the escapes so that they can monitor the success or drawbacks of their creations “in the field.” Many are lost through such field tests, because conventional identification tagging and scientific monitoring cannot be done without drawing attention to their illegal handiwork. Remember, many of these creations and experiments are not sanctioned by the CS and are conducted in secret. However, approximately 10-15% can be successfully monitored in secret, and an additional 20-25% resurface at a later date as a captured test subject, aberration or D-bee slain or captured in the wild. Dead or alive, the scientists get the chance to study the body and glean information from it. Of course, a living subject can reveal infinitely more, but even a corpse of, or a Reconnaissance or Intelligence report about, the creature provides valuable information.”

This excerpt also presents a fun plot hook that could tie into the character; they “escaped” Lone Star and the genetic scientists years ago, only to have been under covert surveillance the whole time, their very lives and actions being subtly influenced or recorded by the same forces they’d thought to have eluded. That’s up to your DM, though!

As such, I’ve also leveled this character up a bit (level 6) to give credence to the amount of time since their “escape” and their life/backstory since then. Their own business, the “Monkey Wrench” (an auto/repair shop) was the true focal point of this character’s creation anyway, and as such I may be designing a town or short encounter around it in the future. Oh, he’s also allergic to bananas. That tidbit is just for fun and completely optional (though it gave me the chance to type up an allergy template)! I feel like I may have missed something during character creation, but after editing I just can’t find it. If anyone notices a mistake or what may be missing, let me know so I can (hopefully) fix it; darn pregnancy brain has been messing with me something fierce now that we’re in the home stretch!

Game: Palladium Books’ Rifts RPG
Books Needed: Rifts Ultimate Edition, Rifts World Book 13: Lone Star.
Recommended Setting: PCs who are not CS agents must either be “feral” renegades or the offspring of runaway mutants; both are considered to be dangerous or corrupt and will be destroyed if encountered by the CS. As such, this character maintains a lie that they are a gorilla type D-Bee, not a feral mutant, and tends to avoid towns without a high D-Bee population. Not recommended for pro-CS campaigns or with pro-CS party members. Well suited to a mid level campaign or a low level M.D.C. campaign. The character is designed as a skill character who happens to be physically powerful, but was also written to be a bit of a pacifist with little actual fighting ability. Keep that in mind when playing this gentle giant genius.


'Yeah, 'pay me in bananas', never heard that one before. Hilarious.' - Bram

General Information
Nickname: Bram (also known locally by the surname DePalo)
Exp. Level: 6
Experience Table: Monkey Boy Tech/Simvan Monster Rider (equivalent)
R.C.C.: Monkey Boy Tech (Experimental “Ape Boy Tech”, Gorilla)
O.C.C.: Not applicable.
Alignment: Scrupulous
Invoke Trust/Intimidate: 70%
Charm/Impress: Not applicable.
Health Points: 40 (+2D6/lvl)
S.D.C.: 290
M.D.C.: Not applicable.
P.P.E.: 26 (permanent)
I.S.P.: Not applicable.
Chi: Not applicable.
Horror/Awe Factor: Not applicable.
Armour Rating (On Applicable Worlds): 9

IQ: 25 (+11% one time bonus to all starting/newly aquired skills.)
ME: 20
MA: 22
PS: 31 (Supernatural, Lift/Carry: 3,100/1,550 lbs.)
PP: 17
PE: 20 (Supernatural)
PB: 7 (See Vulnerabilities for penalties.)
SPD: 12 (Run: 8 mph.)

Combat/Bonuses (See Weapon Proficiencies for combat bonuses when using a particular weapon type.)
Hand to Hand: Basic
Attacks: 6
+Damage: 16
+Strike: 2 (+1 when using heavy weapons or vehicular weapons systems. Considered a Critical Strike on an unmodified 19-20.)
+Dodge: 3
+Parry: 3
+Roll: 7
+Restrain Punch: 2
+Disarm: 1
+Entangle: None.
+Initiative: 2
+Perception: None.
+Spell Strength: None.

Restrained Punch: 5D6 S.D.
Fist Punch: 4D6 M.D.
Power Punch: 1D4x10 M.D. (counts as 2 attacks)
Backhand: 4D6 M.D.
Elbow: 5D6 M.D.
Kick: 6D6 M.D.
Power Kick: 1D8x10 M.D. (counts as 2 attacks)

Racial Natural Abilities
Advanced Natural Skills/Abilities: Their sense of smell is 50% better than that of a human. Monkey/Ape Boys can also leap 4 feet high and 8 feet across (increase lengthwise leaps by 20% with a running or swinging start); can run, leap, and swing through trees at half their normal running speed. They are also double jointed.

Prehensile Feet: Can use their feet to assist in climbing, holding objects, and even using simple hand tools and weapons (using a gun is possible, but penalties are applied); some skilled apes/monkeys can even write with their feet (though not as legibly as with their hands; this character is one of those who can).

Occupational Natural Abilities
Not applicable.

+Save Vs.
+Coma/Death: 10%
+Disease: None.
+Insanity: 3
+Poison/Toxins: 3
+Magic: 3
+Ritual Magic: None.
+Psionics: 3
+Harmful Drugs: None.
+Possession: None.
+Pain: None.
+Horror Factor: None.
+Fatigue: None.
+Illusion: None.
+Curses: None.
+Mind Control: None.

R.C.C. Skills:
Climbing/Rappel 98%/91% +5%/lvl
Gymnastics (Includes the following skills:)
■ Sense of Balance 61% +3%/lvl
■ Work Parallel Bars and Rings 71% +3%/lvl
■ Backflip 81% +2%/lvl
■ Basic Prowl 66% (Does not increase with level.)
Identify Plants and Fruits 98% (maximum)
Language: Native: American 98% (maximum)
Literacy: Native: American 98% (maximum)
Language: Other: Techno-Can 96% +3%/lvl
Mathematics: Basic 98% (maximum)
Mathematics: Advanced 98% (maximum)
Radio: Basic 91% +5%/lvl
Mechanical Engineer 76% +5%/lvl
Aircraft Mechanics 76% +5%/lvl
Mechanics: Basic 86% +5%/lvl
Vehicle Armorer 81% +5%/lvl
Bioware Mechanics 81% +5%/lvl
Basic Electronics 81% +5%/lvl
Electrical Engineer 86% +5%/lvl
Biology 86% +5%/lvl
Chemistry 86% +5%/lvl
Pilot: Trucks 51% (no skill increase with experience level)
Pilot: Military Vehicles (at basic skill levels [+11% IQ bonus], no increase with experience level)

R.C.C. Related Skills: (+1 skill at levels 3, 6, 9, and 12.)
Locksmith 86% +5%/lvl (+5% regarding electronic/computer controlled locks.)
Robot Mechanics 71% +5%/lvl
Weapons Engineer 56% +1%/lvl
Computer Operation 86% +5%/lvl
Computer Programming 76% +5%/lvl
Computer Hacking 46% +5%/lvl
Robot Electronics 56% +5%/lvl

O.C.C. Skills:
Not applicable.

O.C.C. Related Skills:
Not applicable.

Secondary Skills: (+2 skills at levels 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, and 14.)
Automotive Mechanics 71% +5%/lvl
Computer Repair 66% +5%/lvl
Recycle 66% +5%/lvl (Can use this skill to strip down damaged machines to basic components, knows what materials to gather to fix/build anew; includes basic knowledge of metallurgy.)
Appraise Goods (Taken twice: includes technology.) 81% +5%/lvl
Salvage 66% +5%/lvl
Jury-Rig 76% +5%/lvl
Pilot: Motorcycles and Snowmobiles 79% +4%/lvl
Language: Other: American Sign Language 46% +5%/lvl

Weapon Proficiencies
Blunt (+1 strike/parry 1, 3, 6, 9, 12. +1 strike when thrown 5, 10, 15, not designed for throwing.)

Vibro-Knife: 1D6 M.D.
Wrench, Large: 2D6
Hammer, Large: 2D6

Nuero Mace: Can be used to parry M.D. attacks (even borgs or power armour.) Stored in apartment.
Standard Damage: 2D4 (non lethal stun damage)
Effects: Stunned target is -8 strike/parry/dodge and cut speed and attacks in half for 2D4 rounds, effects last for 1D4mins after recovering from unconsciousness (which the victim will fall under if they fail to save or if struck 4 times, regardless of saves.)
Saving Throw: 16, success results in loss of initiative and one attack but is otherwise fine.

Wilk’s 320 LASER Pistol: Stored in apartment.
Damage: 1D6 M.D.
Range: 1,000ft.
Payload: 20 individual shots. ×4 extra e-clip.
Bonus: +2 to strike using aimed shot due to the lightweight nature and superior balance of the gun.

Wilk’s 447 LASER Rifle: Stored in auto shop.
Damage: 3D6 M.D..
Range: 2,000ft.
Payload: 20 per e-clip, cannot use long e-clip (×4 extra e-clips).

Improved Hunstman Armour: Increased M.D.C. capacity, lighter weight, and better mobility from expensive modifications. Stored in apartment.
M.D.C. By Location: Main Body: 46. Head: 36. Arms (2): 16 each. Legs (2): 26 each.
Mobility: -9% movement capability.

Vehicles/Riding Animals
Improved Wastelander Motorcycle: Increased M.D.C. capacity, lighter weight, and better mobility from expensive modifications. Parked in auto shop.
Crew: 1 plus driver, and a large storage compartment.
Maximum Speed: 144mph.
Engine: Electric.
Maximum Range: 400 miles.
Size: 9ft long, 720lbs.
M.D.C. By Location: Main Body: 66. Tires (3): 3 each.
Weapons: None (Can be purchased.)

Gear (All located in backpack unless stated otherwise.)
Work Clothes ×3 (in apartment)
Casual Clothes ×2 (in apartment)
Tinted Goggles
Radio ×2 (in knapsack)
Flashlight, Large (in knapsack)
Pen Flashlight (in knapsack)
Pocket Mirror (in knapsack)
Comb (in knapsack)
Rope (×200ft, lightweight)
Spikes, Metal ×4
Hammer (in knapsack)
Portable Language Translator
Backpack (in apartment)
Sack, Large ×2
Sack, Medium ×2
Utility Shovel
Utility/Tool Belt (worn)
Air Filter
Gas Mask
Canteen ×2
Flare ×12
Toolkit, Portable (includes electric screwdriver with interchangeable heads, wrenches, etc. – ×1 each in knapsack, apartment, and motorcycle) ×3
Toolkit, Large (in auto shop) ×2
Soldering Iron (in knapsack)
LASER Torch (for welding, in knapsack)
Duct Tape, Roll (in knapsack)
Electrical Tape, Roll ×2 (in knapsack)
Protective Goggles (in knapsack)
Insulated Work Gloves (in knapsack)
Doctor’s Gloves, Thin ×4 (in knapsack)
Personal Handheld Computer (high quality, non military but with protective armour, in knapsack/hidden throughout shop/apartment) ×4
Portable Field Unit Computer ×2
Micro Scale (can weigh up to 200lbs – in knapsack)
Protein Healing Salve, 8oz. Tube ×3 (doubles healing rate for superficial injuries – in knapsack)
IRMSS Internal Robot Medical Surgical System (×4 uses)
RMK Robot Medical Kit
Optics Band (includes: infared/ultraviolet 200ft, 400× magnification 7ft, night sight 200ft, and adjustable color filters)
Pocket Scrambler ×2
Electronic Scrap (boards, circuits, various wires, connectors, etc.) ×3 lbs. (In Sack, Medium)
Mechanical Scrap (gears, knobs, bolts, levers, screws, wires, parts, etc.) ×10 lbs. (In Sack, Large)

Magic Gear
Not applicable.

Salary: 2,000 credits/month.
Credits: 12,000.
Black Market Items: 25,000 credits worth of complex tech and modified weapons hidden away in his shop/home.
Other Currency/Accounts: As the owner of the “Monkey Wrench” (an automotives/repair shop), he has his own furnished apartment above the shop (where he and his Sister live) and savings from that business (15,000-30,000 credits per month, depending upon business traffic, though much of it goes back into the company or toward rehoming fugitive D-Bees).

Magic (P.P.E. Cost)
Not applicable.

Psionics (I.S.P. Cost)
Not applicable.

Not applicable.

Not applicable; though they are not opposed to augmentation to save life or limb, or even to serve a useful purpose.

Power Armour/Robot Vehicles
Not applicable.

Personal Information
True Name: Bramble Calaghan
Gender: Male
Occupation: Mechanic/(Licensed) Operator/Inventor
Age: 28
Lifespan: 62
Height: 7′ 1″
Weight: 314 lbs. (Overweight)
Description: Looks exactly like a Silverback Gorilla, except he stands straighter (and is thus taller) like a human would, due to genetic modification (he retains the rotundness of a gorilla, though). Speech is fully human, but may still growl or howl in excitement or anger. Most often wearing coveralls (complete with oil stains and a name patch), or casual clothing (tshirt and overalls or jeans with suspenders and a ratty baseball cap); hardly ever wears armour (considers himself a bit of a pacifist) and detests “monkey suit” formal attire. Also not typically carrying his weapons, he utilizes his tools (hammer, wrench, etc.) as weapons if he has to, as he always has them in his toolbelt or nearby.
Insanity(s): Phobia: Swimming/Large Bodies of Water (includes riding on a boat and crossing strong/large rivers).
Sentiments Toward Coalition State: Wary; since his “escape”, he knows that he could be killed on sight or possibly even hunted down. Avoids areas with CS presence and maintains that he is a D-Bee, not a mutant, for safety.
Sentiments Toward D-Bees: Friendliness; believing them deserving of equality, he will come to their defense in tense situations, even going above and beyond to help them.
Sentiments Toward Humans: Friendliness; unless the town is human only or obviously pro-CS, he bears no ill will or wariness toward most humans.
Sentiments Toward Magic/Psionics: Indifferent; they have their uses, especially the technology based spells, but not being a psychic or caster himself, he doesn’t care much either way.
Mutations: None, besides being a genetically altered mutant, himself.

Low Physical Beauty Face is so scarred, deformed, frightening or ugly by Human standards that the character suffers penalties of -5% to skills like Gambling, Intelligence (Gathering), Performance, Public Speaking, and Undercover Ops, -20% to the Seduction skill, and a +5% bonus to the Interrogation skill. Any penalties are included in the total percentage in the skills sections.

Allergy: Bananas (Moderate): This character is moderately allergic to bananas and suffers the following applicable penalties/afflictions when exposed to it: Itching/painful rash for 3D4 days at contact site, moderate swelling and sensitivity for 1D4 days, painful vomiting (if ingested) until purged completely, and/or fatigue and weakness (-10% all skills and combat bonuses at half) for 1D4 days.

Background: A genetic mutation created in the Lone Star Genetics Complex (LSGC), Bram was a secret experiment with the intent to create a gorilla mutant with the intellect of a chimpanzee Monkey Tech. The experiment was successful, and was considered for further exploration as gorillas tend to be more docile and tolerant than chimpanzees, thus easier to control (so long as they are closely monitored and unable to use their strength against their handlers). Before the secret project came to light, however, Desmond Bradford (a high level Administrator of the LSGC) wanted to observe how easily controlled an “Ape Tech” would be in a less restrictive environment. So Bram was released in a mid sized town with basic gear and only a couple of handlers (the rest of the team watching at a distance). The first week of the experiment went well; Bram had peaceful interactions with his handlers and other humans, obeying commands and observing much about the very different environment he was placed in.

By the second week, however, Bram’s curiosity had grown insatiable. He took advantage of a sudden and powerful storm to slip away from his handlers and into the outer city (a very enticing and different place than the inner city in which they’d been staying) alone. Over the next couple of days, the storm continued to worsen and Bram observed the lower classes, avoiding law enforcement more easily along the alleys and seeking shelter where he could hide himself away. The town had been all but shut down by this point, due to flooding and power outages; while this made it simpler for Bram to evade recapture (though he intended to return eventually, without an ID chip in his skin he was harder to locate), navigation was more difficult and he found himself on the outskirts of town, near flooding farms and panicked, poorer families. Bram, who loved helping others, assisted a dairy farm in relocating its livestock to higher ground – an easy feat when he can lift a bull in each arm. During this venture, however, the Ape Boy was too near the swelling river and got swept away by the current. Unable to swim, Bram panicked and eventually blacked out from the rough ride along the rapidly churning waters.

Bram awoke while being tended to by a deaf human woman called Marissa DePalo. She was a Rogue Scientist who pulled him from the river and resuscitated his near dead body using her medical knowledge. Marissa had found him washed up outside the town and driven him to her own home, miles outside of the CS territory, fearing not only for his recovery, but also his life as he seemed to be a “feral” mutant or escaped D-Bee. Though Bram held no ill feelings toward the CS at this point, during his recovery (a period of a month or so, as he had broken a limb as well) he would meet others (mainly D-Bees) who were being hunted or had been hurt by their policies and harsh practices. Marissa helped these renegades to escape and heal, finding them resources or ways to safer homes outside of the Coalition’s reach, and so Bram began to as well, and his opinion on his creators grew and darkened.

Once Marissa moved on in her work to a new, further distanced town, Bram traveled with her to help (he was often her translator for those who could not read or understand ASL). They had become much like siblings over the course of a year, and Bram enjoyed helping her with her work and utilizing his own technical skills as well. Bram opened his own machining and repair shop (the “Monkey Wrench”) out of their new apartment and garage, taking on an identity as a D-Bee dedicated to his trade and the assistance of other misplaced D-Bees. Over the next five years, his business and trade skills improved and expanded, soon he and Marissa were veritable pillars of the community; their secret work helping fugitive D-Bees expanded as well.

Family Tree: Genetically designed by one Gloria Calaghan (with approval by Desmond Bradford), Bram doesn’t technically have family. Any other test subjects he may have shared blood with either did not survive or he was not made aware of them in the first place. Bram considers Marissa DePalo, the Rogue Scientist who resuscitated him after his escape, to be an elder Sister of sorts. Marissa and Bram have a very close relationship and he contacts her frequently when either is traveling (through video chat or in written form as she is deaf), they also share a home.

Quick Stats
Bram the Ape Boy (Scrupulous, 6th level [experimental] Ape Boy Tech O.C.C.)
IQ: 25 ME: 20 (70% Trust/Intimidate) MA: 22 PS: 31 (Supernatural) PP: 17 PE: 20 (Supernatural) PB: 7 Spd: 12 HP: 40 SDC: 290 PPE: 26 Attacks: 6
Arms: Improved Huntsman Armour: 166 M.D.C. Wilk’s 447 LASER Rifle: 3D6 M.D., 2000ft. Wilk’s 320 LASER Pistol: 1D6 M.D., 1000ft, +2 aimed shot. Nuero Mace: 2D4, chance of stunning. Hammer: 2D6. Wrench: 2D6. Vibro-Knife: 1D6 M.D.
Abilities: Prehensile feet, great leaping abilities, and can swing through trees at half normal running Spd.
Spells: None.
Psionics: None.
Cybernetics: None.

Happy Gaming,

Any image or information provided pertaining to Rifts is the sole property of Palladium Books and any authors or artists therein. I claim no ownership of content, nor do I claim ownership of any borrowed fan-made creations as may be sourced above. Any homebrew creations are not official material, and are merely intended as creative supplementation.

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