Topside is an ordinary human. He lacks super-human powers of any sort, having no cybernetic implants, immortal beings loitering in his family tree, or freakish abilities granted through scientific mishaps. No, he's just a guy, albeit a really rough and tumble one!
Limitations / Enhancements:
Helmet: this shiny gray helmet not only looks spiffy, but protects Topside from lethal wounds. It provides him rank value 10 protection from physical attacks that strike him in the cranium, which comes in handy when the bad guys actually have decent aim for a change.
Kevlar Vest: supplementing his helmet, this bright orange vest provides Topside additional protection from harm. It transduces Piercing damage into Bashing damage, reducing it 1 RS in the process, not to mention 'drawing' fire towards it due to its neon coloration.
Rocket Launcher: Topside's secondary weapon, this compact rocket launcher can hold two projectiles at once (for single or dual fire action). The rocket propelled grenades fired by this weapon behave as listed below, bolstered by +1 RS if both strike a target at once:
RV 30 Slashing (fragmentary)
Submachine Gun: his primary weapon, Topside may discharge a single round from this weapon to inflict rank value 6 Piercing damage, or a short burst of such to instead cause rank value 10 Piercing damage to his foe. It includes a foregrip to improve his aim considerably.
Stubbornness: Topside is somewhat pig-headed at times. When he decides that he's had enough of something, or that he's Right and you're Wrong, he must pass a Willpower ACTION roll at a -2 RS to capitulate - unless he's not bothering to resist his urge to smash your head in.
Boating: being at sea while on active duty, Topside has developed the fine art of operating and maintaining sea-based vessels. Aside from things like modifying a submarine's nuclear reactor, Topside may control and maintain most sea vessels at his Coordination trait +1 RS.
Electronics: as his secondary specialty involves working with telecommunications gear, Topside has been trained in the fine art of building, modifying, and repairing electronic circuits. He can attempt Intellect ACTIONs in this area of expertise with a +1 RS bonus.
Guns: a naval assault seaman, Topside naturally has this skill, which he is continually honing to a razor sharp degree. When wielding standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifles or pistols, Topside may do so as though his Coordination was +1 RS higher than is listed above.
Marksman: supplementing his talent with guns, this skill allows Topside to utilize line-of-sight weaponry when the need should arise. Whether operating rocket propelled grenades or ship-based guns with immense caliber ratings, Topside may do so at his Coordination trait +1 RS.
Martial Arts style B: Topside has always been a rough and tumble sort of guy, the military just honed his raw capability somewhat. Whenever attempting unarmed attacks of any stripe, Topside may do so as though his Melee value was +1 RS higher than indicated above.
Military / United States: the source of most his other capabilities, this skill describes Topside's intense training in the United States Navy. He understands military protocols and procedures instinctively, and has additional martial contacts as a secondary benefit.
As a member of GI Joe, Topside can rely upon his teammates for assistance, whether or not he's on a mission. This is because the Joes take care of each other, knowing what their teammates face on a daily basis. Furthermore, Topside has several additional, floating Navy contacts.
No pun intended.
Topside's first GI Joe field uniform is comprised of a deep blue T-shirt beneath a bright orange kevlar vest (with NAVY written on it), gray trousers, an orange 'cord' belt, waterproof black leather boots, a gray wrist watch, and his gray helmet to protect him from head shots.
John's an interesting guy. He's not especially abrasive, but definitely assured of the fact that he's one tough customer. This gets him into trouble, as he feels a compulsion to determine who's the 'baddest' when anyone around him swaggers... often by picking a fight with them!
Real Name: John Blanchet, Grade E-6
Occupation: Navy assault seaman, telecommunications specialist
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with no known (but a likely) criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: GI Joe
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Topside sometimes has a full red beard going, other times just a whole lot of stubble.
Topside was born and raised in a small Indiana farm town, and had a mundane childhood. When not in school, he helped his dad raise pigs. He was so good at this that he became known as Fort Wayne's 'hog master,' winning numerous prizes for his pigs at county and state fairs.
Upon growing up, Topside decided that he'd had enough of pigs to last a lifetime, if not several, and left the farm in search of anything else to do. This ultimately led to his enlisting in the Navy, thinking it a perfect means by which he could escape Indiana and see the world.
While serving as a deck hand one day, Topside came across several Joes being transported to one of their many classified 'special missions,' and heard them mouthing off regarding just how tough they were. Thinking they weren't 'all that', Topside decided to put them in their place.
This wouldn't occur to your normal swabbie, but Topside's just the kind of guy to ignore common sense when he feels the need to prove a point. That's why he jumped the all of Joes at once! The man didn't win this little scuffle, of course, but he sure gave as well as he got.
Normally, this would induce some form of disciplinary action, but when the Joes told their buddies about how this fearless deck hand jumped the lot of them, he received the attention of the powers that be. And, after looking at his background, decided that he'd make a great Joe, too!
This may not make much sense at first glance, but over the years the GI Joe team's recruiters have rarely chosen a dud. Thus, despite occasional discipline issues, these folks recommended that Topside attempt the GI Joe entrance exam: a grueling, character defining experience.
Staggeringly stubborn, and having something to prove, Topside managed to work his way through this crucible, and became one of many Navy-trained Joes to grace the team's aquatic operations. As salty as he is, Topside fit right in with the likes of Shipwreck and Wet-Suit.
Topside joined the GI Joe team in 1990, but none of his adventures with them been declassified as of yet. They almost exclusively consisted of sea-based 'special missions', either involving ship-to-ship combat or beach-based operations - that's his specialty after all.
Though GI Joe has gone through random periods of inactivity, Topside stands ready to help out should Cobra's shenanigans require his unique brand of aid. With that organization supposedly defeated for good, it's likely the Joes will be put to use against other groups like Cobra.
Everyone wants to take over the world these days, it seems.
Hook: Topside can use this hook, tied to a fifty foot length of rope, to grapple a target, board a vehicle, climb a high vertical surface, or even strike an opponent. The latter inflicts his Brawn value in Slashing damage to anybody within his current sector.
Night Stick: since he need not necessarily ventilate enemies once he engages with them, Topside often relies on this blunt instrument to subdue them. He may inflict his Brawn value +1 RS with each strike of this object, which takes the fight out of most folks quickly.
Revolver: though he previously didn't bother with a backup firearm, Topside has started toting a revolver with him while on duty. He may fire one round from this weapon per deadly assault, each of which will inflict rank value 10 Piercing damage.
Topside's second field uniform is a variation on his first, and includes a cyan T-shirt beneath a bright orange kevlar flotation vest, light gray trousers, gray leather gloves, black leather boots, a black leather belt, holsters, and sheathes, and his light gray combat helmet.
GI Joe directories featuring a version of Topside:
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