In late December of 1997, a thread on prompted me to check out the way Argurous Astraph, the supreme commander of the International Super Teams, was built in GURPS Third Edition, Revised terms. I was surprised by how "wrong" it seemed to me. I decided to redesign her so that her character breakdown was more point-efficient.

The main problem was the use of Transformation to quantify her central super-power, which the ability to shift into a "chromed-over" form which could then fly and fire lightning bolts. While thematically appropriate -- Transformation is the classic ability of Billy Batson/Captain Marvel and just about every Japanese magical girl -- it really didn't work right on Argurous Astraph because she was far too competent without her powers.

Transformation pretty much requires a standard 100-point human form, which then gets to change into a more powerful form which takes up the rest of the campaign point budget. However, Argurous Astraph is commander of the IST and the possessor of 20-some years' worth of military and political skills whether or not she's in her super form. In fact, she probably performs most of her job in her ostensibly "mundane" form. Transformation is right out. It makes more sense to simply apply the -10% "Only in Body of Metal" accessibility limitation on all her super-abilities other than Body of Metal, which is left switchable. The resulting changes brings AA down to an even 1,000 points without sacrificing a bit of her competence or power.

Finally, despite my posted claims to the contrary to SD Anderson, I discovered while going through my archived copy of the IST manuscript that I was responsible for the poor choice of Transformation. It seems only fair that I not only fix that, but own up to it as well. So may I now present to you...

Argurous Astraph


Assignment: IST New York (Supreme Commander, IST)
ST 16 (80 points)     IQ 14 (45 points)     Speed: 9.25
DX 14 (45 points)    HT 11 (10 points)    Move: 9 ground, 288 flying
Damage: Thrust 1d+1; Swing 2d+1; +2 on punches and kicks; Lightning 13d
Appearance: Female human, Greek, born 1950, 6'3'', 180 lbs., black hair and eyes (normal form)/silver hair, eyes, and skin (Body of Metal).
Point Total: 1,000


IST Member Rank 8 (105 points)
Charisma +4 (20 points)
Reputation +3, everywhere, all the time (15 points)
Status 5 (15 points, 2 levels free from Rank)
Unusual Background: Super (50 points)


Enemy: Most hostile non-U.N. countries on 9 or less (-60 points)
Sense of Duty to Teammates (-5 points)
Sense of Duty to the U.N. and the IST forces (-15 points)
Vow: Serve and defend the U.N. and its ideals (-10 points)

Super Advantages

Body of Metal-18 (162 points, PD 6, DR 18)
DR +22 (Only in Body of Metal -10%, 60 points)
Flight (Only in Body of Metal -10%, 36 points)
Increased Speed +3 (Only in Body of Metal -10%, 68 points)
Superflight X 4 (Only in Body of Metal -10%, 72 points)


Lightning-18 (13) (Skill Cost: 24 points; Accuracy +8, +80%; Instantaneous +20%; Rapid Fire X 2, +80%; Only in Body of Metal, -10%; Power Cost: 211 points)


Agronomy-12 (1 point); Administration-14 (2 points); Area Knowledge (Greece)-14 (1 point); Area Knowledge (NYC)-17 (6 points); Area Knowledge (world)-17 (6 points); Bard-15 (4 points); Computer Operations/TL8-16 (4 points); Diplomacy-14 (4 points); English-14 (2 points); Greek-14 (0, native tongue); History (International, U.N.)-14 (2 points); Intelligence Analysis-15 (6 points); Interrogation-15 (4 points); Judo-15 (8 points); Karate-15 (8 points); Leadership-16 (6 points); Russian-13 (1 point); Savoir-Faire-16 (default); Strategy-17 (10 points); Swimming-15 (2 points); Tactics-16 (8 points); Throwing-15 (8 points); Writing-17 (8 points).


Tries to be emotionless while on duty.
Fights very dirty when necessary.
Always interested in recruiting new talent, from any source.
Visits her family every time she has leave.
Hates her American nickname, "the Silverbolt."

This page was created on January 9, 1998.
Last modified March 12, 2011.