Hey, True Believers! Happy fourth! I spent the day hosting friends, eating tamales, and playing games. But I still have time for you. Aren't you impressed?
Tonight's Mind Games contestant is Counselor Darke. He's an interesting member of the leadership in that he doesn't have any active psionic abilities. In fact, his one mental power is that he's effectively immune to mental powers. But we'll get to that.
Originally, he began with the purest of motives: he sought to understand the strange apparent mutations exhibited by children he was treating. As Dr. Poe brought him into the Institute, he soon found himself caught up in their...questionable ethics. Realizing he could either go with the flow or speak up and risk being "silenced," Nicholas opted to dive in with gusto. He came to enjoy the perks and the power his affiliation with PSI brought.
In his new role, he served admirably as both a recruiter and conditioner of new mentalists and rose to the position of Dr. Poe's right hand counselor. By this time, Nicholas had come to realize that Poe would bring it all crashing around their ears. He'd already gained the confidence of Dr. Poe's son, Simon and had begun romancing his wife. Using their trust, it was relatively easy for him to arrange Poe's downfall at the hands of the Protectors and make it look like Psymon was in charge. Better to be the trusted Counselor than the uneasy head that wears the crown. For now...
Powers-wise, Counselor Darke isn't built for a fight. He carries a couple of pieces of PSI-issue gear (an Energy Pistol and a Panic Ring), but that's really for a last resort. In terms of powers, he's got a massive amount of Mental Defense (43 points total) with a 3d6 Ego Attack Damage Shield that only goes off if he's attacked with Mental Powers. By my interpretation, this includes Telekinesis if the Special Effect is appropriate, so yes, it works on Mind Slayer (provided there's anything left of him, never mind that her own Mental Defense can handle it, so maybe not the best example.).
But really, he should never be in a fight. His job is to be the "face," not the field commander. Ideally, Darke is the one the players first learn about when investigating a psionic child whose parents sent them to a "special school" and haven't heard from in months. After all, he was so charming and reasonable, and his credentials seemed spotless. And the way he interacted with her; honestly, it was the first time in months she'd seemed almost...normal.
In an ongoing campaign, Darke's downfall is his ambition. While he's content to let Psymon play leader for now, that doesn't mesh with his long-term goals. If he can find a way to get rid of him (and Mind Slayer) while not losing the support of Madeleine (Mother Medusa, his lover and Psymon's mom), he'll make his play, and PSI will once again be in outright turmoil. When that happens, do the heroes try and limit collateral damage, try and take them down while their weak, or just sit back and eat popcorn?