* Sludge-Vipers generally learn Boxing for personal defense, giving them ability codes of d for their Strength and Agility. If they instead train in Martial Arts, they possess ability codes of x and c for Strength and Agility, respectively.
An exceptional Sludge-Viper may master both skills, granting them ability codes of d and c for their Strength and Agility, but the vast majority of Cobras who wind up serving in this position are not above the bell curve - usually the opposite, in fact.
It is important to note that a Sludge-Viper, like their Toxo-Viper forebears, are assumed to come from the ranks of conventional Cobra troopers - hence these skills and ability codes. If a more highly skilled Cobra becomes a Sludge-Viper, adjust their ability codes accordingly.
The Sludge-Vipers, like most Cobra operatives, lack super human powers of any stripe. They wield advanced, toxin-spewing weaponry, not to mention advanced personal protective equipment, however, so they can be considered high-tech villains, after a fashion.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Hazmat Suit (s): the Sludge-Vipers' personal protective equipment can withstand most corrosives, doing so with intensity 16, or +4, ability. It is also completely airtight, at least where the helmet's respirator is concerned, providing intensity 12, or +3, resistance to inhaled poisons.
The suit is bolstered with a chest plate which provides air conditioning (since the suit is hot), as well as sensors to warn Sludge-Vipers of chemical hazards (intensity 8 Atomic Sense). The helmet is also shatter-resistant, providing intensity 8, or +2, protection from head injury.
Sidearm (a): should they face foes protected from their Sludge, Sludge-Vipers also carry a conventional sidearm. They may discharge a single round from this weapon to inflict their Agility +4 in damage, or a three-round burst to inflict their Agility +5 in damage.
Sludge Guns (s): each Sludge-Viper's weapon can be fed any organic material in the environment, and output weaponized Sludge! It works by rapidly decomposing its fuel, and then using the resultant methane as a propellant for the Sludge, which is a byproduct of this process.
This truly awful material is a staggeringly effective corrosive agent. Streams of Sludge the sludge gun fires inflict intensity 16 metabolic damage to its target, though against organic materials this damage is reduced by -4 (still quite effective against personnel).
Additional Skill(s): their standard skills assume that most Sludge-Vipers were assigned to this position after their time as a conventional Toxo-Viper. However, those who had served other roles within Cobra naturally retain whatever skills they brought with them.
Boxing (s): Sludge-Vipers are well-versed in the art of self-defense. For some, this takes the form of the boxing skill, which lets them divide their pre-card play action score between two unarmed melee assaults, the second of which will occur as a contingent action.
Chemistry (i): whether chemical warfare enthusiasts or simply too unruly to serve Cobra any other way, its Sludge-Vipers all possess extensive chemical education. They may attempt Intellect card play related to chemical knowledge at one difficulty level lower than is usually required.
Guns (a): all Cobra operatives have the ability to wield firearms in combat, and Sludge-Vipers are no exception to this rule. They may discharge rounds from any standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol at one difficulty level lower than is normally necessary
Martial Arts (a): Sludge-Vipers are well-versed in the art of self-defense. For some, this takes the form of the martial arts skill, granting them a reduction in the difficulty of actions intended to dodge attacks, catch thrown weaponry, or to strike in unarmed melee.
Military (w): Cobra has a Byzantine, difficult to follow command structure, and it's quite possible that some of its Sludge-Vipers 'earned' their previous rank due to an inability to comprehend it. Most Sludge-Vipers are presumed to possess this skill, however.
The Sludge-Vipers are, at least officially, members of Cobra. As such, they can reasonably consider that organization a contact, albeit not a reliable one - they were Toxo-Vipers once! As he relies upon them to achieve his goals, however, they can call their patron, Cesspool, a contact.
Various Callings: most Sludge-Vipers initially joined Cobra for their own, evil purposes, so choose a villainous calling and run with it! Demolisher, Vengeance, and Greed are popular motivations, though anything else can fit a given Sludge-Viper.
The Sludge-Viper uniform is a hazmat suit! Primarily cerulean in color, this personal protective equipment features a yellow chest plate, yellow electronics packages on each hip, a yellow belt, yellow gloves, a yellow helmet with a red visor, and purple boots.
The Sludge-Vipers are Cobra operatives who literally brew up specialized toxic wastes to use against their enemies. Their ranks are ostensibly drawn from that of the Toxo-Vipers, extracting those who didn't wind up there as discipline cases - and are actually good at their jobs!
Personally selected by Cesspool to further his efforts on behalf of Cobra, the Sludge-Vipers recceive advanced new weaponry, personal protective equipment that's actually effective, and an extreme pay raise. All of this combines to make them supremely loyal to him.
As such, though not technically his employees, the Sludge-Vipers tend to be viewed as such by other Cobras. They don't hesitate to do Cesspool's bidding, after all, and will even do battle with other Cobras if they interfere with his operations and/or curtail his ambitions.
They're tolerated by the teeming masses of Cobras, however, because of what they bring to the table. Their sludge guns are more effective than flamethrowers at annihilating enemy personnel and equipment, and can typically be fired for a much, much longer period of time.
Cobra directories featuring a version of Sludge-Vipers:
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