Jacob Burnsley

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Jacob Burnsley was an ordinary, if older human being until he was given the most dangerous weapon in the universe by the Star Child. This weapon, the Star Brand, presumably gives Jacob the power to do virtually anything he wishes. Though he no longer wields it, the Brand made Jacob the most powerful being on earth for a time.

Known Powers:

Immortality: after he accepted the Star Brand from the Star Child, Jacob was rendered immortal. He can be killed, but he won't die. If brought to zero Health and rank value 0 Fortitude, his body will assume a regenerative form, a sort of fish-headed, pink humanoid looking thing with really loose, baggy skin, until he's all healed up. Even total body disintegration cannot stop this regeneration from occurring, only delay it.

Longevity: while not ageless, Jacob most likely has a somewhat extended life-span, as do the many other folks who have wielded the Star Brand. The exact length of his extended life-span is really unknown, as Jacob has already lived past the expected allotment of human years; however, it is assumed that he's got at least fifty additional years in him, thanks to the Star Brand's power.

Limitations / Enhancements:



the Star Brand: for a time, Jacob possessed the Star Brand, a device that could be used to draw forth an effectively infinite amount of energy from some unknown source. Jacob never really learned how to channel an infinite amount of power from the thing, however. He typically manifested Star Brand effects at rank value 50, which was what he could manage when barely concentrating on said effect.

If he wanted to, Jacob could increase the effect of any power he knew how to produce with the Star Brand. He could boost it to any rank value, with a typical ceiling of 500 unless noted otherwise in the specific power description. Jacob typically didn't utilize his powers at this level unless it was absolutely necessary, however, as this level of energy output could have unforeseen consequences.

Furthermore, Jacob could utilize more than one Star Brand effect at a time. Operating two powers at once required a successful Intellect ACT roll, and each additional power added a -1 RS penalty to this ACT. In other words, he could theoretically use all of his Star Brand powers simultaneously, but this is difficult for him to concentrate on. Jacob has demonstrated these Star Brand abilities so far:

* Damage Reduction: by spreading the Star Brand's energies throughout his body, Jacob can achieve nigh invulnerability. If he's not concentrating, however, he can be hurt normally, and even killed - though his immortality would eventually counter that. When he spreads the Star Brand's energy throughout his body, Jacob benefits from 8 RS of damage reduction where physical and energy attack are concerned.

* Energy Generation: by extending its energies outside himself, Jacob can create startling displays of the unknown, paradoxical power of the Star Brand. While he can focus this into a directional blast of power, it typically manifests as a sort of explosion centered on his body, inflicting power rank value Energy damage to everybody within Very Near distance (50 yards, at its standard intensity).

If he should increase the effect above Amazing (50) rank, Jacob must pass a yellow power ACT roll to focus it into a beam, as opposed to detonating everything within his immediate area. Furthermore, the blast effect is increased by one sector for each +1 RS he adds to the power rank. For example, a rank value 150 explosion would affect everything within four sectors of Jacob.

* Environmental Independence: during his many adventures, Jacob has demonstrated that the Star Brand allows him to function without air. It is likely that he wields this power at rank value 5000, effectively neutralizing his need to breathe (save out of habit, of course). It is unknown, however, whether or not Jacob needs to eat or drink to survive; he probably doesn't, but he may not know this.

* Environmental Pocket: one of Jacob's favorite powers is his ability to create zones of perfectly normal, earth-like space in difficult environs. He's used this power to repair areas around the Pitt, and to make a fishing hole on the moon. This power allows him to render everything within Very Near distance of his person a comfortable, habitable place to be. He can do this with rank value 50 skill.

This is the easy stuff, however. You see, if he tries real hard, Jacob can produce exceptionally large areas of earth-normal environment, doing so with the Star Brand's full potential. Effectively functioning at rank value 5000, this lets him build pleasant environs with a radius just under a mile in length. These are particularly difficult for him to create, however.

* Flight: by simply willing it, Jacob can move about in all three dimensions, at up to rank value 50 speed (340.91 miles per hour) if he's not really concentrating. However, should he desire, he can kick his flight rank up to Infinite speeds, though this would be dangerous in several ways. For instance, he could hit something exceptionally hard at these speeds.

Sure, he would've eventually recovered, thanks to his immortality, but it'd likely take a good long time; being scattered over several light years tends to cause a body some inconvenience. Furthermore, this would cause a planet an impressive amount of damage if he pulled this stunt in an atmosphere; again, he'd recover from the resultant plasma cloud, but this is rather inconvenient.

Especially for the natives. Finally, there's the simple matter of getting lost. Ken Connell did that once while exploring the solar system, and he almost didn't make it back. If he flew too fast, too far, it would've been a good long while before Jacob managed to make it back home (interstellar space is very, very big). This is why, if he wishes to enhance his speed, Jacob usually limits himself to rank value 500.

That being, of course, 6,818.18 miles per hour in earth's atmosphere (around Mach 9).

* Healing / Others: Jacob has demonstrated remarkable healing powers while using the Star Brand. For instance, he can cure diseases, including cancer, and has the ability to repair a body no matter how battered, broken, ruptured, burnt, or otherwise damaged it may be, as long as at least one cell still lives within it. This power functions at rank value 50 for Jacob.

* Illusion Projection: when he tried to repair the Pitt itself, Jacob utilized the memories of Pittsburgh's million or so residents to recreate the city in full, or so he thought; it turned out that this massive reconstruction was simply an immensely intricate illusion, devoid of substance. He uses this power at rank value 50, but can occasionally push this farther (as evidenced above).

* Portability: the Star Brand itself is easily portable, and Jacob can move it about on his person as he sees fit. If he wants to get rid of it, it is similarly easy to just move it onto the body of another person, should they want the thing. However, it is vital to note that the Star Brand cannot exist on an inanimate object; placing it upon such a thing is a very, very bad idea.

This is because, without a true sentience to control it, the power will rage out of control, disintegrating the object (and a very large portion of the surroundings). For instance, placing the Star Brand into a bent ten pound weight destroyed said weight and all matter within a twenty-five mile radius, accidentally creating the Pitt. Needless to say, this also ruined Ken Connell's day.

Similarly, placing the Star Brand into a non-sentient animal isn't a good idea, either. This won't cause the calamity described above, but it will kill the animal over time, as the Star Brand's energies, unchecked, will consume it within days. Of course, this was discovered by the Old Man during his many attempts to rid himself of this weapon.

* Power Amplification, Attenuation, and Control: a curious power that Jacob can utilize is the ability to alter the function of other paranormals' super-human powers. He can hijack control of somebody's powers, making them work at his whim, raising their functioning rank, or even totally negating them, doing so at rank value 50 for as long as he concentrates on doing so.

* Super Strength: while his strength has been considerably enhanced by the Star Brand (to its currently Amazing level), Jacob can use the device to raise his lifting ability to astounding levels (rank value 500, or 500 tons - this doesn't add to his Health point totals, however). Oddly enough, thanks to the Star Brand's belief-based nature, structural integrity doesn't affect this ability whatsoever.

In other words, Jacob really could lift up a building, or a small town, or an ocean liner, etc., without it falling to pieces; luckily, he never took engineering or physics courses, or he might have thought differently. In addition to this, Jacob could use his flight power to carry lifted items with similar, equivalent strength. If he dropped such items, however, the results could've been disastrous.




Guns: thanks to his military training, Jacob presumably has (or, at least, had) the ability to use guns competently. Though he doesn't really need this skill, he can nonetheless use it to wield any firearm as though his Coordination trait was +1 RS in value.

Martial Arts skill B: another talent that Jacob gained during his time in the military, this skill allows him to defend himself unarmed, if necessary. In technical terms, this grants Jacob the ability to execute any unarmed attacks as though his Melee trait was +1 RS in value.

Military / United States: in his day, Jacob was associated with the Army, giving him this skill as a general matter of course. In other words, in addition to gaining his other talents for free, he can interpret military commands with ease, and understands the various military protocols.


Jacob was only a super-powered individual for a rather short period of time. People he knows that he could consider reliable contacts include his grandson, Billy, Roger Price, and the Star Child himself, should he return from his self-imposed exile in a temporal Mobius loop.


While wandering about performing various good deeds, Jacob doesn't bother with a super-heroic costume whatsoever. He merely wears blue jeans, a long-sleeved red shirt, blue suspenders, and a pair of brown leather boots into action.


Jacob Burnsley is a kind older man, one who seems wise beyond his many years. Honest and dependable, he doesn't like to do others harm if he can at all avoid it. His short possession of the Star Brand has only magnified these traits, not dulled them, and that says a lot about him.

Real Name: Sergeant Jacob Burnsley, retired
Occupation: retired member of the US Quartermaster Corps
Legal Status: American citizen with no known criminal record
Marital Status: widower
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: none

Height: 5' 5"
Hair: gray
Eyes: blue
Weight: 160 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Jacob appears as a short, overweight old man, with a large bushy moustache and round-rimmed glasses.


Little is known about the background of Jacob Burnsley, save for the fact that he was a Sergeant in the United States Quartermaster Corps. Also, his entire family, save for his grandson, Billy, was wiped out in the cluster blunder that created the Pitt. Though he survived the destruction of Pittsburgh, however, Billy was dying of cancer, and was about to pass on.

Before this could happen, the strange being known as the Star Child altered reality itself, changing things so that death itself no longer occurred. Right afterward, this being was going to leave the earth to explore his origins, but he wanted to leave his home world protected. As such, he decided to give the power of the Star Brand, his birthright, to a wizened, older man.

The responsible old man he found sufficient for this purpose was Jacob Burnsley. Thinking him an angel when he first appeared, Jacob asked what the Star Child wanted. After he explained his purpose, the Star Child took Jacob out into space and gave him the most dangerous weapon in the universe, and implored to use it responsibly in the defense of the earth.

Flying back to earth gleefully, thinking himself still in a dream, Jacob thought about what he could do with this power, the ability to do virtually anything. His first action, of course, was to cure his grandson of cancer; luckily, he did this right before the Star Child restored the process of death to the earth. Once he did this, Jacob confided with his grandson about his powers, and just what to do with them.

In order to think this out, Jacob built himself a comfy fishing hole in the most difficult place he thought possible - on the dark side of the moon! Of course, he also did this to test out a theory about his power and how he could use it. After several days, Jacob tested out his environmental alteration powers in several areas near the Pitt, rebuilding increasingly large hemispheres of normal suburbia.

This project cumulated with his attempt to rebuild the city of Pittsburgh itself, thus repairing the damage Ken Connell perpetrated against the earth. However, for all his might, Jacob couldn't pull this maneuver off, and he only managed to create the illusion of the city reborn. Defeated, Jacob simply left the place, despondent about his inability to fix things here.

Later, while exploring the soot-covered city of New York, Jacob encountered several paranormals under the mental sway of the President of the United States, one Philip Nolan Voigt. Unsure whether or not he should confront the leader of the free world, Jacob spent some time thinking about this and, once he decided he couldn't ignore the possibility, he went to the White House.

Shortly after arriving there, Nolan started pushing Jacob around with his so-called overpower, his ability to use the paranormal abilities of anybody on earth, but Jacob easily countered the man with his own power, the original power, the Star Brand! Turning his own abilities against him, Jacob burned Voigt's paranormal overpower out, though it cost him his life. Well, sort of.

He found himself revived soon after, and returned to his fishing hole to think things over and spend time with Billy. Soon enough, however, the Star Child returned to the earth, hoping to save the universe itself. To this end, he needed to collect everybody that had ever used the Star Brand, and when he had all of them save one, the Star Child sent Jacob to retrieve the last.

Of course, this man, the so-called Old Man, was rather reluctant to play ball, so Jacob had to beat the snot out of him first. During this fight, however, Jacob and the Old Man inadvertently knocked an innocent pilot out of the air with their magnificent energy exchanges, and before he could return to the Star Child's location, he had to patch this fellow back up first.

Once they were all together, the Star Child reclaimed Jacob's Star Brand, as well as the Star Brand powers of every other body that had ever wielded the device, to patch up a strange temporal paradox that had formed as a result of the Star Brand's very creation. Once this was done, the Star Child returned Jacob, Billy, and one other man, Roger Price, back to earth.

Though he still presumably possesses the relative immortality granted to all bearers of the Star Brand, it is assumed that Jacob has simply returned to the retired life, no longer having strange adventures. This has yet to be seen, however.

Extra Goodies:

Jacob Burnsley 4C System: Edition 13 Text File Download

Jacob Burnsley Imagery

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