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09/11/2003


Menace Manual Excerpt
By JD Wiker, Eric Cagle, Matthew Sernett

from Chapter Two: GM Characters

Heroic GM Characters

Not every person a character meets is an ordinary character. GMs can use the following heroic supporting characters and the groups that they belong to in their own campaigns however they wish. Some suggestions have been provided to help work them into existing or upcoming plots, though GMs can easily pick out one or two of the characters below and introduce them singly instead of as part of their affiliated group and then later bring the rest of the group into play.

The Cleaning Crew

Casper Manicossa -- known as "Cappie" to his closest friends and associates -- is the head of a small crew of mob killers who serve the interests of the Corleone crime family and its current boss, Dominic Lombardi. Manicossa's crew serves as the don's private executioners, ready to put a hit on anyone, at any time, at the merest nod from Don Lombardi. Knowing that the slightest error in judgment could prompt a late-night visit from Casper Manicossa makes many of the captains in the family extremely nervous. However, most of the captains respect Lombardi's discretion; they know that what the don does, he does for the good of the whole family -- and that it takes more than a single black mark for Manicossa to deliver a "message" from Don Lombardi. For his part, the don sees the fear of his retribution as a powerful incentive not to foul up.

Using the Cleaning Crew

The heroes might encounter Casper Manicossa's crew by crossing the mob in some fashion -- especially if the heroes interfere with mob business. Initially, the heroes might run only across a few footsoldiers who deliver a not-so-subtle warning to the heroes to mind their own business if they wish to avoid any "unpleasantness." Should the heroes ignore this warning, the foot soldiers (use the mid-level thug statistics on pages 273-274 of the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game) attempt to get the message across a bit more forcefully.

Should this fail, though, Don Lombardi authorizes Manicossa to take care of the problem. Cappie starts with a "mock execution," which is a drive-by shooting on one or two of the heroes, with Paulie behind the wheel of a stolen car and Little Vince firing Paulie's AK-47 from the back seat. As the car approaches, though, Annabella, pretending to be a bystander, shouts a warning to the heroes, giving them time to duck for cover. Assuming the heroes don't kill Paulie, he guns the engine and drives off, while Annabella rushes to the heroes' sides to see if they're all right.

Annabella's goal is to try to earn the heroes' trust by pretending to be attracted to one of them. She tries to insinuate herself in his life, all the while checking out the heroes' security measures -- unlocked doors, alarm system codes, and so forth -- and should the hero actually make the mistake of trusting her implicitly, she tries to murder him in his sleep. Give the hero a Listen check, opposed by Annabella's Move Silently check, to awaken just in time to see her pulling out her .357 revolver. If she fails at her attempt, she'll try to flee; if she succeeds, she puts duct tape over the corpse's mouth and eyes -- a message that the mob is watching and the heroes should keep their mouths shut.

If the heroes just aren't getting the hint, Manicossa's crew gets mean. Little Vince rigs one of the heroes' vehicles to explode, or he and Paulie set fire to a hero's home late one night. If the heroes split up, and the crew notice, Cappie chooses one of the lone heroes to make an example of -- using a "blitz" style attack to knock the hero out, then transporting the hero somewhere private to work him over at their leisure. Should the heroes put up a fair amount of resistance, Cappie simply calls them and tells them he wants to arrange a meeting, "to straighten this all out so that nobody else has to get hurt." If the heroes actually go for it, Cappie uses the meeting as an opportunity to try to kill as many heroes as possible. But if the heroes demur, Cappie simply keeps trying to pick them off, one or two at a time, until either their crew or his is all dead.

Manicossa is the most straightforward killer in the crew. He opens up with his sawed-off shotgun, and when both barrels are empty, he takes cover, either to reload or to draw his pistol. Cappie isn't subtle by any means, but he is opportunistic in his fighting. He uses any chance he is given to deliver as much damage as possible, and if he thinks taking a hostage will help, he pulls out his sap and bounces it off an opponent's head a few times until his opponent stops moving.

Anthony d'Angelo, or "D," is less subtle and less clever than Cappie. He gets into melee combat as soon as possible and goes for a grapple -- but he's not really smart enough to pick his targets based on size or apparent strength; he just goes for whoever is closest and out in the open. If an initial bull rush doesn't work, D just tries to put the target on the ground, after which he can simply pump bullets into the poor sap. Raised by a god-fearing mother, D thinks that it's a sin to brutalize a woman in this fashion. If his only available target is female, D stands out in the open, trying to decide what to do, until either somebody drops him or the woman hurts him badly enough to make up his mind for him.

Little Vince also has a problem with women, but it's only in his personal life. He has a fiancée -- a nice Italian girl -- but Vince can't help fooling around, and he has a weakness for girls of Asian descent. Faced with one, he can't help but try to seduce her -- even in the middle of a firefight! Unlike D, though, Little Vince is smart enough to stay under cover while he does so. But if there aren't any Asian women around -- or if they're just not interested -- Little Vince is a formidable shooter, using a pair of Glocks and his Lightning Shot ability to throw a lot of lead at his enemies. If cover is available, Vince wastes no time in getting behind it, knowing that his defensive position ability lets him take advantage of every inch of protection. Lately, Vince has been experimenting with trick shots (his Skip Shot feat), and he actually looks forward to an opponent seeking cover of his own.

Paulie is "the crazy one," and his antics in a firefight make for lots of laughs afterward. Paulie has come to the conclusion that a higher rate of fire means a better chance of success, and so always opts for automatic weapons, such as the AK-47 he keeps in the trunk of his precious Crown Victoria, or his trusty Ingram machine pistol. Unfortunately, Paulie really has no skill at firing an automatic, and he ends up wasting tremendous numbers of bullets without really hitting anything. He also has a wild temper and has been known to go from roaring rages to ice-cold menace in a heartbeat.

Annabella is actually the most stable person in Cappie's crew. As a woman in a field traditionally dominated by men, she feels she has to try harder to prove herself and so is no-nonsense about her work. Her preferred method of killing someone is to put her victim off-guard, wait until the person is asleep, and then shoot the sleeping target. When shooting starts, she saves her bullets for an easy target, and if things go badly, she's the first one to head for the door -- albeit calmly.

Casper "Cappie" Manicossa (Strong Hero 2/Tough Hero 5/Soldier 3): CR 10; Medium-size human; HD 2d8+4 plus 5d10+10 plus 3d10+6; hp 81; Mas 18; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 19, touch 19, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +7 class); BAB +7; Grap +9; Atk +11 melee (1d8+3 nonlethal, improved unarmed strike) or +11 melee (1d8+3, brass knuckles) or +9 melee (1d6+3 nonlethal, sap); Full Atk +11/+6 melee (1d8+3 nonlethal, improved unarmed strike) or +11/+6 melee (1d8+3, brass knuckles) or +9/+4 melee (1d6+3 nonlethal, sap) or +9/+4 ranged (2d6, Colt M1911) or +10/+5 ranged (2d8+4, sawed-off shotgun); FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SQ weapon focus (sawed-off shotgun), weapon specialization (sawed-off shotgun); AL Omerta; SV Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +5; AP 5; Rep +1; Str 14, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 13.

Occupation: Blue collar (bonus class skills: Drive, Intimidate).

Skills: Demolitions +7, Drive +12, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (streetwise) +11, Knowledge (tactics) +9, Listen +5, Read/Write English, Speak English, Speak Italian, Spot +6, Survival +2.

Feats: Brawl, Double Tap, Heroic Surge, Improved Brawl, Improved Damage Threshold, Iron Will, Knockout Punch, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Streetfighting.

Talents (Strong Hero): Melee smash.

Talents (Tough Hero): Remain conscious, robust, second wind.

Possessions: Colt M1911 (.45 autoloader), 50 rounds of .45 ammunition, sawed-off shotgun (12-gauge shotgun), 20 rounds of 12-gauge buckshot ammunition, brass knuckles, sap, business suit, casual clothes, cell phone, Chevrolet Suburban, various gear and personal possessions.

Cappie is a swarthy man with short, black hair who stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. He tends to prefer dark clothing, and he always looks perfectly groomed.

Anthony "D" D'Angelo (Tough Hero 5/Bodyguard 5): CR 10; Medium-size human; HD 5d10+20 plus 5d12+20; hp 118; Mas 21; Init -1; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 15, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (-1 Dex, +6 class); BAB +6; Grap +8; Atk +10 melee (1d8+2 nonlethal, improved unarmed strike) or +10 melee (1d8+3, brass knuckles) or +8 melee (1d6+3 nonlethal, sap); Full Atk +10/+5 melee (1d8+2 nonlethal, improved unarmed strike) or +10/+5 melee (1d8+3, brass knuckles) or +8/+3 melee (1d6+3 nonlethal, sap) or +5/+0 ranged (2d8, Desert Eagle); FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SQ combat sense (+1), harm's way, improved charge, sudden action; AL Omerta; SV Fort +12, Ref +4, Will +3; AP 5; Rep +2; Str 14, Dex 9, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 15.

Occupation: Criminal (bonus class skills: Gamble, Knowledge [streetwise]).

Skills: Concentration +10, Gamble +3, Intimidate +12, Knowledge (streetwise) +2, Read/Write English, Sense Motive +7, Speak English.

Feats: Brawl, Frightful Presence, Great Fortitude, Improved Brawl, Improved Damage Threshold, Improved Knockout Punch, Knockout Punch, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Streetfighting.

Talents (Tough Hero): Damage reduction 2/-, remain conscious.

Possessions: Desert Eagle (.50AE autoloader), 50 rounds of .50AE caliber ammunition, brass knuckles, sap, casual clothes, cell phone, Ford F-150 XL (with covered bed and large supply of mops, sponges, buckets, and garbage bags), various gear and personal possessions.

D may have his problems with tactics from time to time, but he knows how to dress to enhance his light olive skin and dark eyes. He stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.

Vincent "Little Vince" Chicchetticonsorte(Fast Hero 4/Gunslinger 5): CR 9; Medium-size human; HD 4d8+4 plus 5d10+5; hp 57; Mas 12; Init +7; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 21, touch 21, flat-footed 21 (+3 Dex, +8 class); BAB +6; Grap +7; Atk +7 melee (1d3+1 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +7 melee (1d4+1/19-20, knife); Full Atk +7/+2 melee (1d3+1 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +7/+2 melee (1d4+1/19-20, knife) or +10/+5 ranged (2d6, Glock 17) or +8/+8/+3 ranged (2d6, 2 Glock 17s); FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SQ close combat shot, defensive position, lightning shot, weapon focus (Glock 17); AL Omerta; SV Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +5; AP 5; Rep +2; Str 12, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 13.

Occupation: Military (bonus class skills: Demolitions, Knowledge [tactics]).

Skills: Bluff +9, Demolitions +14, Hide +6, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (streetwise) +10, Knowledge (tactics) +8, Move Silently +12, Read/Write English, Read/Write Italian, Sleight of Hand +10, Speak English, Speak Italian, Spot +9, Tumble +14.

Feats: Double Tap, Drive-By Attack, Improved Initiative, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Skip Shot, Two-Weapon Fighting.

Talents (Fast Hero): Evasion, uncanny dodge 1.

Possessions: 2 Glock 17s (9mm autoloader), 80 rounds of 9mm ammunition, knife, casual clothes, cell phone, various gear and personal possessions.

Little Vince isn't too little in terms of height: He stands 6 feet 3 inches tall. However, his lean build makes him look shorter and deceptively lighter than he actually is. His unusual hazel eyes dance merrily when he's in a fray or speaking with those he admires, but they darken and become quite piercing when he is angry.

Paolo "Paulie" Stanzione (Tough Hero 4/Charismatic Hero 2): CR 6; Medium-size human; HD 4d10+8 plus 2d6+4; hp 52; Mas 14; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 14, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+4 class); BAB +4; Grap +5; Atk +7 melee (1d8+1 nonlethal, improved unarmed strike) or +5 melee (1d6+1/19-20, cleaver); Full Atk +7 melee (1d8+1 nonlethal, improved unarmed strike) or +5 melee (1d6+1/19-20, cleaver) or +4 ranged (2d6, MAC Ingram M10) or +0 ranged (2d6, MAC Ingram M10, automatic) or +4 ranged (2d8, AKM/AK-47) or +0 ranged (2d8, AKM/AK-47, automatic); FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; AL Omerta; SV Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +0; AP 3; Rep +3; Str 13, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 9, Cha 15.

Occupation: Criminal (bonus class skills: Gamble, Knowledge [streetwise]).

Skills: Bluff +8, Drive +3, Gamble +8, Gather Information +6, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (streetwise) +10, Read/Write English, Speak English, Speak Italian, Spot +3.

Feats: Brawl, Confident, Frightful Presence, Improved Brawl, Knockout Punch, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Streetfighting.

Talents (Tough Hero): Robust, second wind.

Talents (Charismatic Hero): Charm (females).

Possessions: MAC Ingram M10 (.45 machine pistol), 100 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition, cleaver, business suit, casual clothes, cell phone, Ford Crown Victoria (with chainsaw, AKM/AK-47 [7.62mmR assault rifle], and 300 rounds of ammunition), various gear and personal possessions.

Paulie has about the same build and complexion as Little Vince, but that's where the resemblance ends. His face is narrower and expresses his current emotion quite aptly. When angry, his expression resembles a distant thunderhead, and when happy, his dark eyes somehow seem to glow with his joy. He tends to wear comfortable clothing instead of well-tailored clothing, which allows him to move more freely than his companions.

Annabella Paradisi (Fast Hero 3/Charismatic Hero 4): CR 7; Medium-size human; HD 3d8 plus 4d6; hp 34; Mas 10; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 17, touch 17, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +5 class); BAB +4; Grap +3; Atk +3 melee (1d3-1 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +3 melee (1d3 electricity, stun gun); Full Atk +3 melee (1d3-1 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +3 melee (1d3 electricity, stun gun) or +7 ranged (2d6, Colt Python); FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; AL Omerta; SV Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +3; AP 3; Rep +2; Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 16.

Occupation: Dilettante (bonus class skill: Knowledge [popular culture]).

Skills: Bluff +12, Diplomacy +12, Disguise +12, Drive +6, Escape Artist +8, Gather Information +12, Hide +8, Knowledge (popular culture) +7, Move Silently +8, Perform (dance) +7, Read/Write English, Sleight of Hand +8, Speak English, Speak Italian, Tumble +4.

Feats: Advanced Firearms Proficiency, Combat Expertise, Deceptive, Improved Disarm, Low Profile, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Trustworthy.

Talents (Fast Hero): Evasion, uncanny dodge 1.

Talents (Charismatic Hero): Charm (males), fast-talk.

Possessions: Colt Python (.357 revolver), 25 rounds of .357 caliber ammunition, stun gun, casual clothes, BMW M3 sports coupe, various gear and personal possessions.

Annabella has long, dark black hair with eyes to match, and she stands 5 feet 10 inches tall. She tends to wear clothing that flatters her long legs and dresses in the latest fashions. Her manner suggests a girl who wants for nothing.

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