Latest Material Index

Continue reading

Latest Material Index

Continue reading

Latest Material Index

. It’s once again time to get the latest material index updated and to transfer the material from the old one to the main index tabs at the top of the page. If you want the very latest material, it may be necessary to either scroll down or consult the “Recent Posts” listing-widget on the lower right. The previous Latest Materials Index can be found HERE and – for those who like to rummage at random – the full post-by-post index can be found occupying a great deal of space in the lower right column.

. Eclipse Classless d20 Character Construction Cribsheet / Sample Character ListCharacter Creation PrimerCompiled Martial Arts.

. Subindexes: RPG Design – Twilight Isles – BattletechChampionsd20Legend of the Five RingsShadowrunWhite WolfOther GamesBattling Business WorldStar Wars

. Cumulative General Index. Continue reading

Champions – Dylan “Redstone” Williams, Pulp Jungle Warrior

Despite his social gaffes, his predatory stance, and savage energy, Dylan “Redstone” Williams was not raised by wolves.

He was, in fact, raised by Cats – to be precise, the African Leopard Men, a secretive tribe of feline shapeshifters who – for reasons unknown – chose to adopt and raise a stray child, rather than simply ignoring him or turning him over to someone else. Perhaps they had enough magic beyond their felithropic talents to detect his potential, perhaps the small defiant boy somehow impressed them, perhaps it was a simple whim – but regardless of their reasoning, they took him in after his parents, and most of the rest of the Safari group, were massacred in one of the inter-tribal disputes endemic to Africa.

He never did learn to shapeshift like his mentors. His Northern European heritage was not closely enough bound to the cat-totem for THAT – but that same lack of an affinity allowed him to learn to draw on the strengths of many different creatures.

He was ten when he earned the name “Redstone” – killing his first poacher, a man who was shooting at one of his young feline friends, by crushing his skull with a rock.

By the time he was fourteen, and an adult by the standards of the tribe, he had dealt with many more poachers and plunderers – and the tales had spread across Africa.

By the time he was twenty there were whispers of an unkillable phantom of the jungle, of a wild man, of a king of the beasts – and that the Leopard Men had found a leader to help them resist the colonial powers.

None of that was really true of course – Dylan was mortal, and raised within a tribe (even if they did live in the deep jungle). He influenced animals, but did not rule them – and his power wasn’t THAT much greater than that of the average Felinothrope, and was still less than that of their elders. Still, he had far easier access to colonial society, and could bring them a lot of helpful information.

Dylan visited Europe for a time to learn of those colonial powers, and to claim his parents substantial (albeit not particularly awesome) estate – but soon returned to Africa, and his jungles. He did not venture beyond Africa again until the renewed assaults of the Qliphoth made it all too obvious that the Jungle could not stand alone; to defend it meant defending the rest of the world as well.

And Dylan stepped forth. Whether it will be to grow into a mighty champion of the world or to perish remains to be seen.

——————————————————-

Dylan’s powers are fairly straightforward. He’s a pulp hero, he has great strength, and considerable toughness, and he can tap into a variety of animalistic powers – including the ability to influence and communicate with animals. That isn’t an especially powerful mix when compared to most modern heroes – but he’s reasonably versatile and is doing pretty well in his milieu.

Of course he’s VERY heavily influenced by the totem spirits that he calls upon, and his reputation for antsocial behavior is well earned.

Dylan’s build relies rather heavily on a particular set of “side effects” – (Side Effects (Animal Instincts, Territorial, Arrogant, Must be Alpha Male, Will not back down from a challenge. Protective of his “Kingdom”. Obvious wild man) – basically a set of stereotypical behavior patterns. This is more than a bit cheesy, but it also controls a good deal of his behavior and creates endless difficulties for him – making him a rather difficult hero.

——————————————————-

Yes, yes, stereotypes… The “Pulps” were mass-produced as cheaply as possible, and peaked a century ago. Even at the time, if a character type in them wasn’t a stereotype to start, it soon would be.

 

Dylan “Redstone” Williams, the Lion King

Value Characteristic Points
0/43 STR -10
18 DEX 24
23/28 CON 26
11 BODY 2
13 INT 3
11 EGO 2
15 PRE 5
15 COM 2
9 PD 0
7 ED 1
4 SPD 12
15 REC 0
32 END -12
47 STUN 0
Total 55

 

Points Powers END
2 Elemental Control: Pulp Hero (5-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (No power may exceed 10 active points.): -¾; Visible (Obvious pulp hero.): -¼
a-2 Armor: Only a flesh wound! (4 PD/3 ED)
b-2 +10 PRE: I’ve seen worse!
c-2 Mental Defense: Unconquered Will (12 pts); Add to Total
d-2 +5 CON: Tough As Nails
e-2 Regeneration (1 BODY/hour); Regenerate: Standard, +0
f-2 Resistance (+10 to EGO Rolls)
17 Mowgli Multipower (52-pt reserve); Linked (To Strength): -½; Side Effects (Animal Instincts, Territorial, Arrogant, Must be Alpha Male, Will not back down from a challenge. Protective of his “Kingdom”. Obvious wild man. ): 60/All, -1; Generic Limitation (Side effects cannot be avoided.): -½
u-1 +40 PRE / The Lion’s Roar; Generic Limitation (Only 50% effective on humans and other intelligent races.): -½
u-1 Cat Climbing / Clinging (Clinging STR +5); Active Points: 12
u-1 Monkey Swinging (+20″, NC: 40″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 60; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 2
u-1 2d6 Bloody Fang / Killing Attack (HTH) (Total 4d6); Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼

He normally uses a weapon for this – but a stick or chunk of rock will do, so there’s no limitation.

1
u-1 2d6 Killing Attack (RKA); Range: 225; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Generic Limitation (Requires a knife, spear, javelin, bow, or other primitive weapon.): -¼ 0
u-1 Cheetah Running (+10″, 16″, NC: 64″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×4, +5; Non-Combat (MPH): 60; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Active Points: 37 0
u-1 +10 Gorilla Strength; Doesn’t Affect Figured: -½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Generic Limitation (Only for combat purposes; cannot life massive weights, rip apart entangles, etc.): -½ 0
u-1 +5 DEX / Mongoose Reflexes; Doesn’t Affect Figured: -½
u-1 Beast Senses / Enhanced Perception (all) (+5 to PER)
u-1 Otter Darting / Swimming (+10″, 12″, NC: 24″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 30; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 5d6 Beast Speech / Telepathy; Generic Limitation (Only to communicate with animals): -½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 2d6 Call of the Wild / Mind Control (Summon Animals); Communication: Telepathic, +¼; Area Effect (Radius): 1000″ radius, +1; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Increased Area: ×500, +2¼; Generic Limitation (Only works on animals.): -1; Active Points: 47 2
u-1 Jungle Lord
(2) Acrobatics 14-
(3) Mimicry 14-
(3) Survival 14-
(2) Tracking 14-
(2) Seduction 14-
22 +43 Strength of the Elephant; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Side Effects (Animal Instincts, Territorial, Arrogant, Must be Alpha Male, Will not back down from a challenge. Protective of his “Kingdom”. Obvious wild man. ): 60/All, -1; Generic Limitation (Side effects cannot be avoided.): -½ 2
5 Damage Resistance (5 PD/5 ED)
1 Immune to Aging; Generic Limitation (Ages quite slowly, but does age.): -1
72 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
10 +2 level w/Mowgli Multipower
5 Money (Well Off)
5 Knowledge: Jungles 14-
3 High Society 12-
3 Paramedic 12-
3 Bump of Direction
3 Lightsleep
0 English (Native Accent); Literacy: Standard, 0
0 Yoruba (Native Accent); Literacy: Standard, 0
1 Bantu (Basic Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
33 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

100+ Disadvantages
10 DNPC: Girlfriend(s) of the Week (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
15 No Code Against Killing (Common, Strong)
15 Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
10 Represents the interests of the Leopard Man society (Uncommon, Strong)
10 Womanizer (Common, Moderate)
10 Enraged: Plunderers of the Natural World (11-, 11-); Circumstances: Common, +10
10 Public Identity
10 Reputation: Crazy “Jungle King” (11-)
5 Rivalry: Anyone else who was “raised by animals”; Situation: Professional, 5; Position: Equal, +0; Rival: NPC, +0
10 Watched: The Authorities (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
20 8d6 Unluck; Generic Limitation (Only applies for running into lost tribes, evil plots, bizarre monsters, and so on. He doesn’t quite inhabit the same world as everyone else. ): -1
15 Hunted: Nature Exploiting Syndicate (8-); Capabilities: As Powerful, 10; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Hunted: Mercenaries (8-); Capabilities: As Powerful, 10; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
150 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
55 + 105 = 160 250 = 150 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
6 6 4 12 13/9 10/8 3, 6, 9, 12

 

Champions – Lamechial who thwarts Deception, the Adversary

By what right do I do these things?

In any trial, there are two advocates before the Judge.

I am not a defense attorney. The LORD forms the Light, and creates Darkness. The LORD makes Peace, and creates Evil. He is the LORD who does all these things. Both the Light and the Darkness and the Shadows which lie between are HIS. And in those Shadows I have walked across the centuries, testing. Some pass, surmounting temptations and obstacles, and grow. Others fail, and diminish.

But I have not heard the guiding voice of the LORD within in centuries. Is this a part of his plan? Or have I somehow been twisted to the path of division, which claims that my office is not the LORDS, and fallen? And does it matter? No longer are mortals scattered so thinly across the earth. Now, no matter where my path might lead… there are lives that I am called to touch. Some to help, some to oppose – whether in training or reality – and, far, far, too many… to avenge, expose, or punish.

There is a reason that the first thing a lot of angels say is “Do not fear.” Lamechial… does not say that very often. Miracles are not always nice.

————————————————————–

There are spirits of wrath, or mercy, and of many other aspects of humanity and the world. Most of them are pretty blatant, even if the true ultimate powers are cloaked in a myriad mysteries and masks. Lamechial… walks the shadows, both in the darkest corners of the world and in its highest courts. He is a special agent – the supernatural version of James Bond.

And Lamechial resembles James Bond more than a bit. He is old (even if, as a spirit being, he does not age), sophisticated, experienced, and has seen the worst of humanity over and over again across the centuries – although innocence can still surprise him. He is something of a cynic, but – unlike so many spirits of good or evil – does not bother himself over the little, meaningless, “sins” and indulgences. Humans are not perfect, and they cannot be expected to be.

That does not mean that they cannot be BETTER.

————————————————————–

Lamechial both is and is not an atrocity of power. He possesses a few extremely potent abilities – he can send corrupted spirits on a tour of hell, release inhibitions, grant wealth, minions, or many other benefits, and warp the world around him in a thousand marvelous ways – but the tour (however shocking) merely delays his targets by a phase, he can make only minor changes in mortal minds, he can only grant benefits in conjunction with a willing mystical pact (although the price is rarely anything more than a few favors and he can only grant 20 points worth of boosts at that), and – while he can readily change the environment around himself – in superheroic combat, making a few walls and such only goes so far. Most of his resistance to injury fails against otherworldly weapons – which pretty much every occultist on earth knows about. He is owed countless favors, but rarely more than one or two related to his current activities.

Worse… the use of his active powers twists the world about him. Mortals may receive visions, take up magic, or develop strange powers and bizarre obsessions. Magical creatures sealed away since the very dawn of time may be unleashed. Strange plots and magical interventions spring up where Lamechial passes. Such things are, after all, obstacles for people to build up their strengths overcoming – and that is his purpose.

In actual combat, Lamechial is essentially a rather light duty brick. He’s tough enough (unless someone has an otherworldly weapons) to withstand most small arms unless someone gets in a lucky shot, but he really isn’t up to fighting a serious super-hero, super-villain, or major monster. He’s more of a pulp occult investigator.

Out of combat… his most potent (and rules-abusive) power is his Perfected Expertise, which makes him (thanks to eons of experience) familiar with every active skill, reasonably well informed on virtually any topic, and competent at social skills – although, even with this power an actual hero is likely to far exceed his skill in any topic that said hero is actually interested in.

————————————————————–

The primary problem with Lamechial in a game is not his awkward powers. It’s that he doesn’t really play very well with others. He may appear to mortals and aid them in pursuit of justice or against supernatural menaces. He may tempt them with their fantasies, show them luxuries and riches, or strip away their perks. He may show evildoers the likely consequences of their foul ways, or wisely mentor almost anyone – but, like most occult agents and detectives, he’s really something of a loner.

Although I suppose you could use him as one of those annoying Stealth Mentors; “I have no choice but to surrender! Excellent! Now that you have become strong enough to overcome ME, you will have a chance against the true challenges to come!”

 

Lamechial who thwarts Deception,

the Adversary

Value Characteristic Points
10/45 STR 0
8/23 DEX -6
13/40 CON 6
10 BODY 0
13 INT 3
11 EGO 2
25 PRE 15
17 COM 3
10 PD 1
8 ED 0
4 SPD 7
17 REC 0
80 END 0
40 STUN -13
Total 18

 

Points Powers END
23 Shadow Magic Multipower (70-pt reserve); Variable Limitations (Commonly IAF (Amulet) or OIF (Ring)): -½, -¼; Visible (Blatantly obvious to other supernatural beings): -¼; Side Effects (Has weird, cumulative, effects on those around. ): 30/Half, -½; Generic Limitation (Side effects cannot be avoided.): -½; Concentrate: ½ DCV, -¼; Only in Hero ID: -¼
u-1 Sorcerer’s Eyes / Detect Magic (+7 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Addition (Discriminatory / Analytical.): +5
u-1 2d6 Walker of Ages / Aid to Favors and Contacts. (Fade/week, Max. 12); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Generic Limitation (May only “pull out” one contact and two favors in any one week.): -½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 2d6 Balm of Gilead / Aid to all damaged powers and abilities (Fade/turn, Max. 12); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2 3
u-1 Glimpse of the Abyss / Extra-Dimensional Movement; Dimensions: One, +0; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Usable Against Others (Only works on those at serious risk of winding up in hell): ×1 mass, 1; Generic Limitation (Sends victim on an astral tour of hell. This seems to last for hours, but actually requires only an instant (they lose a phase), after which the victim is returned to his or her body. It will not work again on the same victim for at least a week.): -1½ 4
u-1 1d6 Wages of Sin: Drain Perks (Return/century); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Penetrating: +1; Generic Limitation (Cannot drain more than 20 points in total from the target’s Perks. ): -1 5
u-2 Soulsight
(10) Stench of the Lie / Detect Deception (+10 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
(10) Heartsight / Detect Surpressed Desires (+10 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
u-2 Fiat Materia / Telekinesis (STR 30); Range: 345; Manipulation: Fine, +10; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 2
u-2 1d6 Call the Shadows / Transform: Remove Inhibitions, induce gloating, cause confessions, or other minor mental changes (Minor, Limited Class); No Range -1/2, Cumulative: +½; Area Effect (Radius): 6″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×2, +¼; Champions Advantage (Exemption: can leave up to (ECV) targets unaffected): +½; Autofire: 20 shots, 1¼; Reduced END: Zero, +1; Penetrating: +1 0
u-2 2d6 Aid: Grant Wishes (Fade/century, Max. 20); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Variable Special Effects: Certain Group, +¼; Generic Limitation (Target must willingly accept a mystically binding bargain (a 20-point disadvantage)): -1

It is important to note that Lamechial does NOT want your soul, or to deprive you of your free will. He is MUCH more likely to call upon you to take in an orphaned child, to help straighten out someone else, to turn away from an illegal business and donate to charity, or otherwise to try and improve matters on earth – to strive, in some small way, to become a better person.

5
u-2 Visions Through The Mirror / Clairsentience (Hearing, Sight); See: Past, +20; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Dimensions: Current, +0; Range: 500″; Generic Limitation (Cannot see into truly sacred places.): -¼ 2
u-2 15″ Gates of the Nephelim / Teleportation (Long Range 1,875″); Increased Range: ×125, +35; Long Range: 1,875″; Long Range (miles): 2.33; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Fixed Locations: 0; Floating Locations: 0 3
u-2 Warp Reality / Change Environment (8″ rad.); Effect: Variable, +1; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1; Uncontrolled: +½, No Range: -½

This power manipulates the setting; If Lamethial wishes to fix a broken window, open some doors, or create a hole in a wall this will do it – as it will transform a room into a cavern full of gems, or a harem, or turn an area into a maze. He can even add in “extras” – minor spirits or bored souls acting in appropriate unimportant roles. The net effect is somewhat dreamlike.

And yes, that’s powerful, and quite likely outside the scope of “Change Environment” – but how would you build that power?

0
u-2 2d6 Heavenly Sword (No longer carried) Killing Attack (HTH) (Total 4d6); Range: 0; OIF (Blade): -½; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Armor Piercing: 1, +½; Affects Desolidified: +½

Lamechail is not primarily a warrior, and – these days – carrying a sword around is quite conspicuous, while having a car handy is much more generally useful. Thus Lamechial has put his celestial sword and armor safely away in magical storage, It is unlikely that anything short of an apocalypse scenario would or otherworldly invasion or some such make him get them out again.

3
7 Perfected Essence Elemental Control (20-pt reserve); Visible (Blatantly obvious to sensitives as a spirit entity.): -¼; Side Effects (Comes with numerous supernatural responsibilities and missions along with various supernatural opponents.. ): 30/Half, -½; Generic Limitation (Side effects cannot be avoided.): -½; Generic Limitation (Will not function in the divine realms of non-Judaeo-Christian gods. ): -¼; Only in Hero ID: -¼
a-6 Armor (14 PD/14 ED); Generic Limitation (Bypassed by Otherworldly Weapons): -1

If Lamechial is expecting a major battle against otherworldly opponents he may retrieve his divine armor – a 2-point bit of equipment that buys off the “not versus otherworldly weapons” limitation on his “natural armor” – but these days he usually finds owning a CAR a lot more useful and far, FAR, less conspicuous.

b-7 Perfected Health / Regeneration (1 BODY/Turn); Regenerate: From Death, +20; Addition (Repairs any damaged attribute or ability): +10
c-9 +35 STR; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 1
d-12 +27 CON
e-9 +15 DEX
f-5 2d6 Perfected Expertise / Aid to Skills (Fade/5 hours, Max. 12); Range: 0; Generic Limitation (Target gains an 8- base in all skills, 11- in knowledges, and his or her base Presence Check in all Presence-Based Skills only): -½; Generic Limitation (Self Only): -½; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2 4
g-9 Life Support (total); Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½
5 Damage Resistance (5 PD/5 ED)
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
117 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
37 +6 level w/Immortal Expertise / Overall Level; Costs END: -½; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Visible (Shadow Magic Signature): -¼; Generic Limitation (Will not function in the divine realms of non-judeo-christian gods. ): -¼
7 Money (Wealthy); Generic Limitation (Has no apparent source, no history, and no financial records. ): -½

Lamechial’s wealth is fundamentally based on his “Warp Reality” power, which allows him to fill empty rooms with whatever he pleases – as long as it has no significant point cost. He handles the legal concerns with his usual inherent skill, but people do notice and wonder…

1 Noted Occult Authority
45 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
12 Sigil of Metatron / Sorcery Power Pool (10-pt Pool); Control Cost: 5; IAF (Sigil of Metatron on his Tie-Clasp): -½; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Variable Limitations: -½, -¼

For the most part this covers a little light levitation and some holy-radiance “special effects”. He’s not exactly an expert sorcerer. His power manipulation skill is Knowledge / Enochian Rune Magic, which his Perfected Expertise gives him a base of 11- in.

6 Sigil of Michael; IAF (Warding Amulet): -½

Given that much of Lamechial’s business has always been with more or less ordinary mortals, he has rarely needed special defenses – but a bit of guidance from Michael is helpful in dealing with unexpected attacks.

(3) Mental Defense (7 pts) ; Add to Total
(3) Power Defense (5 pts)
3 High End Smartphone (0kg)
5 Penthouse Base: 25

There may be a bit of vanity involved, and Lamechial enjoys a comfortable lifestyle as much as anyone else – but the real draw is the symbolism of watching over the world from on high. That… just appeals to him. And it’s handy to have a place to keep your stuff too.

4 High End Sports Car: 20
30 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
20 Reputation: The Adversary (14-, Extreme)
20 4d6 Unluck
20 Ruthlessly Inhuman (Very Common, Strong)
15 Honorable (Common, Strong)
15 Code of Chivalry (Common, Strong)
10 Public Identity

Lamechial, as an Adversary, may lie – but only as a part of a test or to serve a greater purpose. He makes no particular effort to conceal his identity – although he also makes no particular effort to prove it either.

15 Hunted: Minions of Moloch (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Hunted: A “white” mage. (8-); Capabilities: As Powerful, 10; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Few mortal records, and those are spread over centuries. (Infrequently, Greatly)
135 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
18 + 162 = 180 235 = 135 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
8 8 4 7 24/19 22/19 3, 6, 9, 12

 

Eclipse d20: Master of the Sabbat

And for today, it’s a (slightly paraphrased and annotated) question!

I couldn’t find much about Master of the Sabbat (An ability that allows a Witch to build up a powerful effect over time) on the site.

So I have a character that has a remarkably high PP-reserve (~1290) and has just decided to use his Elfshot-ability (This normally lays minor curses, at a cost of 1 power for quick effects, 2 for lingering afflictions, and three for permanent ones) on someone for a permanent curse.

Can he use up all of his 1290 PP for that everyday over 28 days (430 curses daily, basically) and the apply the effect or can he only contribute one Elfshot per day?

And what would be the corresponding effects of the first and the second?

-Veebs

Master of the Sabbat doesn’t show up that much in the sample builds because most adventurers want somewhat more immediate results – and the “target must be reasonably accessible for the entire time” and “the Witch must hang around the target for days on end” requirements have mostly kept player-characters from bothering. I anticipated that, and – since it would mostly be appearing in the game masters hands as a plot device – didn’t put in a lot of detail on how to calculate the effects; if I’d put in every calculation… it would have bloated the book by several hundred pages and it didn’t seem worth it.

A character can spend as much Power per day on Master of the Sabbat as he or she pleases. 1290 Power is an awful lot – and it probably won’t be necessary to spend ALL of it for any reasonable effect – but in game terms, there are two basic components to building up an effect; power and complexity.

Power can simply be built up through repetition: if you want to use Hand of Shadows to bring down a castle wall and have 40 power per day, just add it up. Forty hours of “light work” per day (even if we call an hours “light work” – say, casually banging away with a pick in between pages of your light novel – only 1d6 points of damage to the structure) times up to twenty-eight days provides up to 1120d6 of damage – enough, in general, to bring down a very big chunk of the walls of Jericho. It might only take a weeks effort to open enough breaches to easily swarm the place.

Complexity is harder: for that we’ll want to consider Lerandor’s Rule (from The Practical Enchanter):

Anything that can be done with magic can be done with basic spells; it simply takes at least two specialized spells of level “N” to duplicate the effect of a spell of level “N+1”.

-Archmage Lerandor

Thus two specialized cantrips can be chained together to duplicate a first level spell, four a second level, eight a third level, and so on all the way up to at least five hundred and twelve chained cantrips to duplicate a ninth-level spell. Maybe some wealthy academic has had a bunch of minor mages do this as a test sometime, but it’s almost never worth the bother and expense.

There’s a “Runesmith” build up on the site which exploits Lerandor’s Rule – but it isn’t directly applicable; a Runesmith is building up careful chains of triggered cantrips to build on each other (the efficient approach), while Master of of the Sabbat is essentially using the “break it down into small steps” approach and is starting off with something stronger than cantrips to start with.

As far as the calculations go…

  • There are dozens of Witchcraft abilities, and we don’t want to start doing calculations on each one. so for our first approximation, we’ll say Witchcraft abilities are all level two for our current purposes. Some may be higher of course, but most of those are pretty specific effects – not something you want to build up over time.
  • Four our second approximation, and to avoid asking the game master to individually evaluate dozens (or hundreds) of little sub-effects, we’ll say that it takes twice as many effects to do something little by little as it does to do it with an optimized chain of specific abilities. Thus getting a +1 level equivalence costs 4 uses of a Witchcraft ability, +2 costs 8, +3 costs 16, and so on. To get what you can manage on most calculators… Ln(Number of Uses) / (Ln(2) +2, rounded down, works to calculate the effective level you can produce.
  • To see what you can do with such curses, I’d consult The Practical Enchanter and the Malediction Spell Template.

In your specific case that’s Ln(12,040)/Ln(2) + 2 = 15.56, rounded down to 15 – a very very powerful curse indeed. According to the Malediction Template a fifteenth level curse can do some pretty awful things to rather a lot of people; you probably won’t need to use your full power on this one.

A much lesser witch can still be extremely nasty though; a 30-power witch with Master of the Sabbat and Elfshot who can only manage ten permanent curses per day can still pull off a tenth level curse effect (presuming that the target(s) let them hang around giving them the evil eye all day for a month to generate and store up the 280 sub-curses anyway). That’s enough to – say – curse a family for all time (+4 levels) with an extremely difficult to remove (+1 level) curse of uncontrollable lycanthropy (Base level of 5).

Of course, the low save DC for Witchcraft means that many members of the family will be unaffected – so the curse will run in their bloodline, only afflicting occasional scions, until someone goes on a quest or something to find a way to negate it. (Which is usually where the PC’s come in, rather than them being the ones laying the curse).

Still, this allows powerful (literally “full of Power”) and malevolent witches with that particular combination of abilities to lay curses of undeath on entire villages, inflict awful fates on innocent (or guilty) people, and otherwise generate up to one adventure suitable for a group of low- to mid-level player characters to go on every month. A sufficiently angry witch with Hand of Shadows can smash the wall of the evil overlords castle to let in the mob, a Weathermonger can raise a terrible storm, and someone with True Prosperity can bring health and wealth to a small city.

Doing something about Witchcraft’s low save DC if you’re after a particular target is another matter, but if you’re going to the trouble to spend a month creating your effect, it’s often worth devoting a few of your available “spell level” equivalents to spamming the effect to force multiple saves through the Multiple metamagic, inflicting penalties on the save through the Lacing metamagic, or just doubling the effect (“Allows no Save”) with the Amplify metamagic.

And I hope that helps!

Zhan Rayden, Master of the Earth (Levels (-2) to 2

This particular Eclipse d20 build request was rather confused. The player wanted a build roughly equivalent to his eighth level earth-based Kineticist (with some secondary air talents), but possibly including some upgrades from a (not provided) Gestalt Fighter-Kineticist version of the same character with “some, but not too much, optimization” and “some interesting stuff for building things”. He also seemed to be wanting a “Last Airbender” feel – which looks more or less like what the class was supposed to have anyway. He didn’t want to use the Bender Template though, which made things more complicated.

Even outside of the missing information from the Gestalt build, there really wasn’t a particularly clear concept there – which made the character rather hard to build. Even “equivalent” is kind of doubtful; there’s no point in building a character with exactly the same abilities. What should be different? You can use Eclipse to make pretty much anything, so how do you pick out what you want from a virtually endless array of options without a strong concept?

Taking a look at the class…

The Kineticist gets an unlimited-use elemental attack. It’s not on the level of an moderately well optimized damage-dealer build using various other classes, and nowhere near the kind of damage you get with an ubercharger or similar exploitative build – but after you apply some boosts it’s fair. At the top end you can make your blast area of effect (although trying to compete with the major spellcasters is generally a waste of time) or possibly get an extra shot. Kineticists get some fairly useful defensive talents (in this case some good damage reduction), a handful of utility powers (including a few fairly good ones; in this case it’s wall-walking and making low dirt walls all he wants), a modest selection of skills, and “Burn”.

“Burn” lets you push your powers in an emergency at the cost of draining your hit points for the day. Well and good. You try to handle too much power and you overload yourself. Seems reasonable. Burn, however, is a very two-sided mechanic; some powers mitigate Burn, while others reward you for taking Burn so you overstrain and weaken yourself and… get stronger? That’s a rather tangled mess… I’m just going to buy the things that “Burn” provides directly, and forget about that particular mechanic.

Overall, the class seems to be generally regarded as being a bit weak. After all, you’re basically playing a minor superhero in a game where “Superhero” starts at level six and you graduate into “demigod” territory around level eleven. You’ve got a rather messy mechanic for pushing your powers. You have the usual over-valuing of “unlimited use” when parties tend to fall back when any member starts exhausting their best powers and many days will have only one or two fights. You have very limited usefulness out of combat, and little or nothing to do if there are no fights today.

So this build is a pretty literal “tank” – he’s got massive Damage Reduction and a big “gun” that fires rather slowly. We’ll want that DR and (per the players request) LOTS of hit points. For the utility stuff… I think I’ll trade out “unlimited use” for “far greater versatility”. Given earth powers, that will neatly cover “interesting stuff for building things” anyway. I’ll throw in some rapid position-shifting, battlefield control, and anti-artillery (spellcaster) stuff as well. Why not? He might want to visit World of Tanks, and I wouldn’t want him to feel out of place.

He also has a family enemy Drawback and some Traits – which work just fine in Eclipse as having taken some Disadvantages to get a few extra character points.

I’ll probably still be leaning fairly heavily on the anime for inspiration and comparisons – but at least I’ve got something to work with now.

Zhan Rayden, Master of the Earth (Levels (-2) to 2

Level-By-Level “Earth Based Kineticist / ‘Earthbender’” build.

Basic (rolled) Attributes: Str 15, Dex 16, Con 19 (17 +2 Pathfinder), Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 13.

Pathfinder Package Deal and Race (Human): This has no cost. Outside of providing a +2 bonus to an attribute and Pathfinder’s “Favored Class” benefits, this won’t have that much effect.

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L(-2) (Infant):

Basics: 6 CP (Human Bonus Feat) + 6 CP (Disadvantage s; Family Enemy and Recorder) = 12 CP. 1 HP.

  • Bright Kid / Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level gained from now on (3 CP).
  • Healthy One / Fast Learner, Specialized in Getting More Hit Points and/or Damage Reduction (+2 CP / Level gained from now on, 6 CP).

There are several ways to get more hit points; In this case we’ll be delaying gratification a bit by waiting to spend the extra points until level one instead of just buying extra hit points at each level.

  • Upgrade the Pathfinder Package Deal Template “Fast Learner” to Double Effect (2 CP). This will not help at the moment since the package specifically limits it’s benefits to levels 1+ – but we’re mostly establishing potential at the moment.
  • +1 Hit Point (1 CP towards upgrading his or her first hit die). Unfortunately, infants do not yet get to add their constitution modifier. This still gives this infant 2 HP – making him twice as tough as the average baby!

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L(-1) (Child):

Basics: +4 (2 x Int Mod) SP, add (Con Mod) to HP:

  • Fast Learner (Healthy One): +2 CP towards more HP (Saved for L1). Fast Learner (Human) +2 SP. Net: 6 HP, 6 SP. Unfortunately, at level (-1), the character is limited to 2 SP in any given skill.
  • Skills:
    • Instinctive Earth Affinity / Avalanche Fist Martial Art +1 SP +4 Con +3 Path: Net +8, Toughness II, Attack I, and Combat Reflexes
    • Multilingual / Linguistics +2 +2 Int +3 Path: Common, Terran, three other languages.
    • Active Kid / Climb: 1 SP +2 Str +3 Path = +6
    • Well-Off Family / Ride: 1 SP +3 Dex +3 Path = +7
    • Avoiding the Parents / Stealth: +1 SP +3 Dex +3 Path = +7

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L0 (Youth):

Basics: +2 (Int Mod) SP, +24 CP, +2 HP (Now 8 Base)

  • Fast Learner (Healthy One): +2 CP towards more HP (Now 4 CP banked for L1). Fast Learner (Human) +2 SP.
  • +1 BAB Specialized in Melee Combat (3 CP)
  • Basic Earthbending / Innate Enchantment: Corrupted for Increased Effect (multiply the effective value by 1.5). Drawing on the primal elements, a “Bender” is subject to restrictions resembling those of a Druid; they are restricted to light, non-metallic armor and shields, are easily detected by elemental creatures, and must uphold the elemental balance of nature. They also tend to have rivalries with other elementalists, but that isn’t much of a restriction. 12 CP for 16,500 “GP” net value.
    • Force Shield I / Palms of Stone: +4 Shield Bonus to AC, blocks Magic Missiles (Spell Level 1 x Caster Level 1 x 2000 GP Unlimited-Use Use Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 “GP”).
    • Force Armor I / Granite Bell Technique: +4 Armor Bonus to AC (1400 “GP”).
    • Stone Strike: The targets unarmed attacks are equivalent to using a +2 Hand Axe. The user is considered armed (1400 “GP”).
    • Riding the Earth: Personal Haste: +30′ Movement, +1 Attack at full BAB when making a full attack. While already personal-only, x .8: Extra movement only applies when in contact with the ground, the extra attack only applies when using unarmed combat, 1600 “GP”).
    • Storm of Stone: Adds a Range Increment of 100 to his melee attacks, although they remain melee attacks, x.8 (“Unarmed” attacks only) = 1120 “GP”.
    • Volcanic Wrath (+2 Morale Bonus to Strength, +2 Morale Bonus to Constitution, +1 Morale Bonus to Will, -2 AC). X.9 (Cannot be turned off) = 1260 “GP”.
    • Mountain Stance: Add (L/6 + 1)d6 (to a maximum of +4d6) to the damage inflicted by the target’s melee attacks this round. This is considered normal weapon damage; the spell simply lets the user hit things harder (1400 GP).
    • Endurance of the Ages / Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2 x Con Mod HP) (1400 GP).
    • Geokinesis / Unseen Servant: The personal-only modifier is irrelevant, but these can only touch earth-derived materials – stone, earth, metal, clay, and crystal and can only be directed to perform one basic task at any one time. The user may thus plough fields, move massive rocks, and build walls with remarkable speed – but not cook (even with earthenware pots and utensils), make jewelry, or any other complex task (x.8) = 1600 “GP”.
    • Dust Weaving: Produces effects roughly equivalent to Silent Image – except that the images are all obviously made of drifting dust, strong winds will blow them away, it wont work under water, and the dust composing the image is entirely real, it can irritate people, sometimes make them sneeze, and can’t be seen through with anything that wouldn’t see through a normal cloud of dust. Since “personal only” is meaningless in this case, there are no cost modifiers (2000 GP).
    • Item Effects: Impact-Accepting Earth / Ring of Feather Falling (Pathfinder, 1100 GP), Tool Shaping / Travelers Anytool (Pathfinder, 250 GP), and Essence of the Earth / Healing Belt (Magic Item Compendium, 750 “GP”) (No, Earthbending from the series doesn’t include any healing powers, no matter how minor. D20 combat, however, includes a LOT more in the way of injuries than Anime combat).
  • Grand Total: 16,680 “GP” – safely within rounding-off limits of 16,500.

As usual with Innate Enchantment that’s a lot of power on the cheap – one reason why I usually only allow 12 CP worth of Innate Enchantment. Of course, it’s also easily disrupted, hard to expand on very much, and makes the user extremely magically conspicuous – not to mention the behavioral limitations.

  • Resistance: +1 to Fortitude Saves (3 CP).
  • Adept (May buy Craft/Stonemason, Martial Art/Avalanche Fist, Perception, and Profession/Engineer for half cost, 6 CP)

With a total of 4 SP to spend, a +2 on each Adept skill is in order.

  • Avalanche Fist Martial Art +3 (2) SP* +4 Con +3 Path: Net +10, Toughness II, Attack I, Combat Reflexes, and Breaking (Specialized for double effect/only against earth, stone, and metal).
  • Climb: 1 SP +2 Str +3 Path = +6
  • Craft/Stonemason: +2 (1) SP* +2 (Int) +3 (Path) = +7
  • Linguistics +2 +2 Int +3 Path: Common, Terran, three other languages.
  • Perception: +2 (1) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +8
  • Profession/Engineer: +2 (1) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +8
  • Ride: 1 SP +3 Dex +3 Path = +7
  • Stealth: +1 SP +3 Dex +3 Path = +7

Zhan Rayden now possesses 31 HP (after Immortal Vigor and his new constitution boost is included), AC 19, DR 2/-, and some decent base attacks and abilities. He’s ready – as bender kids in the Anime are shown to be ready – to go get started adventuring. Still, it can be presumed that – at this point – Toth has several levels on him. Alas! Rayden is not yet a legendary prodigy!

Like any PC, he’s certainly got a good start on it though.

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L1 (Adolescent/”Adult”):

Basics: +6 SP (+2 Int Mod, +2 Human Fast Learner +2 Doubled Pathfinder “Favored Class” bonus), +34 CP (24 CP Base + 6 CP L1 Bonus Feat +4 for selecting a final disadvantage), +1 HP (for automatic maximized base d4 HD at L1).

  • The doubled-up Pathfinder “Favored Class” Bonus (Earthmaster) is now taking effect. This will provide a choice of +2 SP, +2 HP, or +2 CP towards a GM-permitted* special “racial” bonus each level from now on at each level where the character remains focused on his or her mastery of the Earth. That’s “GM-permitted” since – with Eclipses essentially unlimited choice of races and :”classes” – a list of specific bonuses by race and class is clearly impractical. It’s also mostly irrelevant, since simply taking the bonus as skill points will free up CP to be spent elsewhere anyway. Almost every character spends at least a few CP on skills at each level – and an extra +3 HP per level turns the basic d4 into the equivalent of a d10.
  • “Healthy One” (Fast Learner): 6 CP accumulated towards “more hit points”. This is being spent on Advanced, Improved, Augmented Bonus: Adds (Wis Mod) to (Con Mod) when calculating bonus hit points per die, Specialized and Corrupted/Only applies to levels 1-3 (6 CP). It will cost another 3 CP (Available by level three) to buy the restriction down to “Specialized / only applies to levels 1-6″ and another 9 CP (available by level 7) to buy off the restriction entirely. At levels 8+ he’ll be looking for another way to spend his 2 CP per level to add more hit points. (It would be more efficient to add extra hit points from his Dexterity, but that – for reasons that will become apparent below – is probably getting into “over-optimized” territory).

So to spend those 34 CP, let us buy…

  • +1 BAB (+2 Total), Specialized in Melee (3 CP).
  • +3 Resistance (Total base saves of +2 Fortitude and +2 Reflex, 9 CP).
  • Armor of the Earth: “Shapeshift” (earth and metal shell) (Jaguar/Big Cat), with Attribute Modifiers, Hybrid Form, and Clear Speech, Specialized/Jaguar Only (12 CP). (By the rules Str +6, Dex +8, Con +4, +10 Move, +1 Natural Armor, +8 to Agility and Stealth skills, Low-Light Vision, and Scent. By the special effects, leave off the sensory boosts).

This is a BIG slice of optimization cheese; Shapeshifting can get you major attribute bonuses on the cheap, provided that you don’t mind looking like a beastman, monster, or lycanthrope. On the other hand, it only boosts physical abilities, and so is mostly helpful to the more martial combat, skill, and stealth based characters while being of far less use to spellcasters – and Pathfinder still leaves a pretty big gap in ability between the spellcasters and non- (or limited) spellcasters. Ergo this falls under “let the combatants have a bone”. I am, however, giving it to them very early for one simple reason; characters with long lists of widely-variegated special abilities that they can swap out – usually known as “spellcasters” – inevitably dominate the game at high levels simply by number of options. There’s no cure for that other than drastically limiting their options, which pretty much eliminates the point. Ergo, just to be fair… allowing things like this means that the martial and skill-based types will dominate the game early on, while the casters will dominate it later.

Of course, presuming that Rayden does not care about looks, there really isn’t any reason to ever turn this off. With two liberal slices of high-quality cheese already – a massive load of innate enchantments and shapeshifting – the whole “Anime Thing” is well underway.

Basic Attributes: Str 15 +2 (Wrath) +6 (Shift) = 23, Dex 16 +8 (Shift) = 24, Con 19 (17 +2 Pathfinder +2 (Wrath) +4 (Shift) = 25, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 13.

  • Adept (May buy Use Magic Device, Profession/Architect, and Earth Rune Magic (Casting and Mastery) for half cost, 6 CP)
  • This leaves 4 CP, which are going into Skill Points – giving him ten at this level. They’re being spent on Use Magic Device 2, Profession/Architect 2, Earth Rune Magic/Casting 2, Earth Rune Magic/Mastery 2, Perception 1, and Profession/Engineer 1. Yes, that leaves him with a d4 HD at level one – but, in Pathfinder, that can always be made up later and he has plenty of bonus HP.
    • Avalanche Fist Martial Art +3 (2) SP* +4 Con +3 Path: Net +10, Toughness II, Attack II, Combat Reflexes, and Breaking (Specialized for double effect/only against earth, stone, and metal).
    • Climb: 1 SP +2 Str +3 Path = +6
    • Craft/Stonemason: +2 (1) SP* +2 (Int) +3 (Path) = +7
    • Earth Rune Magic/Casting +4 (2) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +8
    • Earth Rune Magic/Mastery +4 (2) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +8
    • Linguistics +2 +2 Int +3 Path: Common, Terran, three other languages.
    • Perception: +4 (2) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +8
    • Profession/Architect +4 (2) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +8
    • Profession/Engineer: +4 (2) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +8
    • Ride: 1 SP +3 Dex +3 Path = +7
    • Stealth: +1 SP +3 Dex +3 Path = +7
    • Use Magic Device +4 (2) SP* +1 (Cha) +3 (Path) = +8

At this point Rayden is about as far ahead of the power curve as he is ever going to get; for a first level character his armor class is good, he hits very hard, and he effectively has three maximized hit dice (even if they are only 5, 6, and 6) at +10 HP per die. His powers will still increase with level of course – but he’s going to gain breadth faster than raw power.

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Level Two:

Basics: +6 SP (+2 Int Mod, +2 Human Fast Learner +2 Doubled Pathfinder “Favored Class” bonus), +24 CP (24 CP Base), +1d4 HP.

  • +1 BAB (+3 Total) Specialized in Melee (3 CP).
  • Initiate of the Earth: 2d6 Mana, Specialized in Rune Magic, Corrupted/includes no Natural Magic (4 CP).
  • Strengths of the Earth: Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to restore Mana, requires at least one hour of sleep per die regained (4 CP).

This combination allows Rayden to start putting his Rune Magic skills – which have been pure theory up until now – to use. At the moment, thanks to the Pathfinder skill bonus, he will have an effective casting level of four and can use up to second level spells – although basic earth magic is really pretty limited. They will also cost one point of mana per level, so he can’t use such spells very often, even if it is a freeform magical style. Sadly, when the casting level is based on (Skill/2) and the spells usable are based on (Skill/4), this will soon start to lag far behind a full caster. It should make for a handy suite of utility magic though.

  • Saves: +1 to Fortitude and Reflex (+3 Total Base) (6 CP).
  • Shockwave Stance I: Immunity to Distance (Considers squares up to 5 feet away to be adjacent. Very Common, Major, Trivial). (Either the earth does it for him or it tosses him from place to place – although such movement does not allow AOO along the way).Corrupted/not while airborne, waterborne, or spaceborne (3 CP).
  • Shockwave Stance II: Upgrade Shockwave Stance to a Minor (12, rounded down to 10, foot) immunity, Corrupted/not while airborne, waterborne, or spaceborne (+4 CP).

Shockwave Stance is a third helping of cheese; it vastly increases his mobility and lets him use his attacks of opportunity as if he had +10 reach. That’s not earthshaking yet – but he’s free to keep on upgrading it. That will probably be pretty important later on.

His 6 SP go to Avalanche Fist 1, Craft/Stonemason 1, 3 to get his remaining six Adept skills up to +5, and Stealth 1.

  • Avalanche Fist Martial Art +5 (3) SP* +4 Con +3 Path: Net +12, Toughness II, Attack II, Combat Reflexes, and Breaking (Specialized for double effect/only against earth, stone, and metal). Yes, going for half skill points is a bit silly – but it makes for a smoother progression all around without having any other real effect. From now on, he’ll just be assigning four skill points to his Adept skills each level to keep them maxed out. This wouldn’t be a problem (or at least would be glossed over for convenience) if we’d just spent all his skill points from his childhood levels at level one – but such is the price of going into extreme detail.
  • Climb: 1 SP +2 Str +3 Path = +6
  • Craft/Stonemason: +5 (2.5) SP* +2 (Int) +3 (Path) = +8
  • Earth Rune Magic/Casting +5 (2.5) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +9
  • Earth Rune Magic/Mastery +5 (2.5) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +9
  • Linguistics +2 +2 Int +3 Path: Common, Terran, three other languages.
  • Perception: +5 (2.5) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +9
  • Profession/Architect +5 (2.5) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +9
  • Profession/Engineer: +5 (2.5) SP* +3 (Wis) +3 (Path) = +9
  • Ride: 1 SP +3 Dex +3 Path = +7
  • Stealth: +2 SP +3 Dex +3 Path = +8
  • Use Magic Device +5 (2.5) SP* +1 (Cha) +3 (Path) = +8

So far Zhan Rayden is pretty heavily optimized. Combined with the usual benefits of a focused Eclipse design that puts him at about ECL 5 or 6 – although he still lacks breadth, or much of anything to do in noncombat situations except build things.

Champions – Yu Qilin, the Jade Unicorn, Archmage of the Pulp Orient

Yu Qilin – “Jade Unicorn” – has been the Archmage of the Orient, the “Dragon of the East”, the protector of the Celestial Empire, and Rìchu Qíshì (Guardian of the Sunrise , he-who-ensures-that-the-Sun-rises-upon-the-Celestial-Kingdom-each-day) for more than a hundred years. Each passing day has deepened his understanding of the Yin and Yang flows of universal energy that he calls upon, although a mere few centuries is barely enough to scratch the surface. He has been privileged to wear the Pinyan Coat of the Pheonix King, which incorporates some of the Feathers of an Immortal – and thus bestows long life, resistance to injury, and certain other benefits of the true immortals upon any mortal who wears it.

It’s worth noting that the Coat of the Phoenix King is NOT a sober item; it is embroidered with dragons, phoenixes, blossoming chrysanthemums, and mystic symbols, in brilliant emerald, ruby, gold, silver, and sapphire threads that seem to have been spun from jewels and fire. “Stealth” is fairly obviously not his thing.

He is one of the most powerful mages in the “pulp” world – and, while he is generally a “good guy”… his primary duty is the protection of China. Where that duty clashes with the heroes and guardians of the west and can be quite ruthless. Believing as he does in reincarnation, when he judges bandits, street gangers, and similar petty “trash” he does not hesitate to send them off to their next incarnation if they cannot be readily reformed or placed under supervision. The most vicious and evil he sentences to the Chinese Hells, there to be reforged into something more useful – and to win their redemption in service. This is rumored to be the source of the beasts he calls on to fight for him.

Across the centuries he has aided dozens of heroes in battle against mystic menaces and things from beyond the earth – the Tyrant Saurian Kings, the Ku She Clan, the Hei Biao Dracolich, the Triads, the Nightfall Fleet, the Razor-Winged Storm

And then there was a pause. For decades there was little more than petty crime and vulgar human grabs for power and wealth to deal with. There were villains of course, even some with a bit of true personal power (such as the Blood Adept, Pol Pot) – but the epic threats of the previous century appeared no more.

And Yu Qilin focused on his studies. He had reached a plateau, the deeper mysteries apparently beyond his grasp – yet somewhere, somehow, he would find a key. Many of the elder heroes were passing, when the storms returned once more… he would have to be prepared.

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Yu Qilan knows aspects of eight of the sixty-four great spells of the Book of Changes personally – and can access more both through the Dragon Gauntlets and through his mastery of ritual magic.

  • The Thousand Venoms masters the art of alchemical toxins. Yu Qilan can induce strange and terrible illnesses, strange compulsions, and bizarre transformations – and almost everyone is vulnerable, although this power may take some time to take effect.
  • The Gates of Kunlun allows him to summon beasts to his service – powerful lions or tigers, swarms of wasps, giant spiders, faithful steeds, and a wide variety of other beasts.
  • The Visions of Li Kao allow him to see and hear what is happening in distant locations – and even to peer into the future, although the future is always cryptic.
  • The Earth Spiders Web sticks it’s victims to the whatever they happen to be touching with Str 45 (it’s based on HIS strength) – quite enough to hold most people still, although powerful bricks will manage easily.
  • The Mists of the White Snake are for long range travel – a teleportation effect that spans up to a hundred miles. Given a few moments… Yu Qilan can almost always successfully retreat from a losing battle.
  • The vapors of The Elixir of Immortality can heal virtually any injury, refresh flagging energies – and affect everyone that Yu Qilin wishes to heal within forty-six feet – a boon for any group he assists.
  • The Transformation of Wujing can be called upon when he MUST engage in a physical battle – lending him great speed, and strength, and a skin of iron. Unfortunately, the effect has a serious flaw; to infuse mere mortal flesh with such strength and speed requires calling upon a powerful spirit of the heavens – and sometimes there is a price for their assistance.
  • The Gates of Fusang – his last and most terrible personal spell – can cast those nearby into the underworld, there to either fight their way out, to succumb to its demonic inhabitants, or to escape through their own magics. Of course, it’s pretty unreliable and can’t be used very often…

His Taoist Rituals enable him to access other magics – including extremely powerful ones – but preparing such a ritual requires about half an hour and he can only store the results of a few (eight, or one for each of the great Trigrams) such rituals at any one time. Still, combined with his personal spells… given time, he can accomplish a vast number of feats.

The spells granted by his Dragon Gauntlets vary – but the six listed are reasonably common:

  • The Eye of Erleng Shen is a reasonably powerful mental blast, capable of affecting those in a fair radius. While it is unlikely to defeat any powerful figure, it can easily clear away minor foes.
  • The Chant of Creation allows Yu Qilin to reshape the local environment – adding, removing, and changing features of the landscape, buildings, and similar features within an area up to one kilometer across. It is a spell of terrible power, allowing him to erect walls and labyrinths, change the course of rivers, create or destroy citadels, raise crops and forests, or open roads. Yu Qilin treats this spell with the utmost respect when he has access to it at all, and usually settles for smaller changes to the environment – walls and such – rather than trying to redesign cities and citadels. He isn’t much of an architect, and knows it.
  • Veiling the Sun’s Eyes lays impenetrable darkness across an area, also providing the user with a mystic sense of his or her surroundings – and is mostly useful for escaping, although it’s sometimes a tactical option if he has no allies in the area who need to see.
  • The Light of the Ten Suns is a straightforward – indeed, an almost trivial, spell, creating a mighty burst of magical illumination. Yu Wilin suspects that it has some deeper meaning, or else is simply drawing on the primal light.
  • The Unbroken Grasp of the Underworld grows vines of iron-like wood from the Earth, entrapping most weaker creatures beyond any hope of escape – leaving them no choice save to await the Bailiffs of the Underworld.
  • Finally, The Dreams of the Moon allows the creation of large-scale, detailed, audiovisual illusions – a useful tactic in many situations, even if one that’s quite incapable of harming anyone.

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For a pulp magician Yu Qilin is fearsomely powerful; his spells have active point totals far above the norm for a pulp campaign, he can defeat a small army of normal folks, he can rebuild and restructure massive areas, and much, much, more.

Of course his spells generally require gestures and incantations and extra time – so it’s fairly easy to throw a spike into his wheels. Even more importantly… he has no mighty shields, tactical-level teleportation, invisibility, or blasts of power. He has only one spell that actually inflicts damage – and that is a limited-use, stun-only, mental blast, and only powerful in that it can affect groups. He has one spell that makes him a light-duty brick – but that spell has a substantial choice of leaving him stuck with awkward extra missions, so he avoids using it if he can.

He has spells that make people ill, summon normal animals (while annoying, a couple of lions or some such really aren’t really too much of a bother for a set of pulp heroes or superheroes), provide cryptic visions, hinder movement, allow him to escape, allow him to heal injuries, let him send people on their own private adventure, manipulate the battlefield, make it hard to see, very briefly flashblind enemies, entrap single targets, and create illusions. Those are useful and versatile effects – but, while he has many ways to hinder and manipulate his foes… he lacks any way to actually fight them directly if they’re much past being normal humans.

Yu Qilin NEEDS a team. He’s superb backup for other heroes though – and he should be kept that way. Don’t let him buy a force field and a big energy blast and become just like every other superheroic mage. He’s much more interesting the way he is.

Still, with the return of the great menaces, Yyu Qilin may be on the verge of breaking that 180-point cap and reaching the mysteries that lay beyond.

 

Yu Qilin (Jade Unicorn)

Value Characteristic Points
15 STR 5
15 DEX 15
13/18 CON 6
10 BODY 0
13 INT 3
14 EGO 8
10 PRE 0
13 COM 1
4 PD 1
4 ED 0
4 SPD 15
7 REC 0
20 END -8
27 STUN 0
Total 46

 

Points Powers END
33 Taoist Sorcery Multipower (92-pt reserve); Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Variable Limitations (Each slot already has at least -1 in limitations, leaving only another -1/2 – usually an OIF/Magical Rings): -1½, -¾; Extra Time: full phase, -½
u-2 1d6 The Thousand Venoms: Transform: induce illness, poisoning, or hypnotic transformations (Minor, Limited Class); Range: 450; Invisible: To All Senses, +1; No Normal Defense (Full Life Support): +1; Champions Advantage (NND that does body): +1; Cumulative: +½; Continuous: +1; Uncontrolled (Shut down by an appropriate set of medical treatments): +½; Autofire: 10 shots, ¾; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +2; Activation: 14-, -½; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½ 0
u-2 Gates of Kunlun / Summon Beasts (2 80-point creatures); Range: 0; Summon: Limited Group, +¼; Champions Advantage (All animals are considered trained by him): +½; Charges (Even he will only have so many beasts handy): +8, -½; Generic Limitation (Earthly beasts only – although oversized versions and swarm-creatures are all right.): -½ 0
u-2 Visions of Li Kao / Clairsentience (Hearing, Sight); Reduced END: Zero, +½; See: Future, +20; Dimensions: Current, +0; Range: 1,000″; OAF (Seeing Crystal): -1; Generic Limitation (Glimpses of the future are always confusing prophecies, not simple visions.): -½ 0
u-2 The Earth Spider’s Web / Clinging (Clinging STR +30); Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Area Effect (Radius): 160″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×32, +1¼; Personal Immunity: +¼; No Range: -½; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½
u-2 10″ Mists of the White Snake / Teleportation (Long Range 80,000″); Increased Range: ×8000, +65; Long Range: 80,000″; Long Range (miles): 99.42; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Fixed Locations: 0; Floating Locations: 1, 5; Generic Limitation (Only for long-range transport, not tactical teleportation): -1 2
u-2 4d6 Elixir of Immortality / Aid to all damaged atributes and abilities (Fade/turn, Max. 24); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2; Trigger (When severely injured or distressed. ): Set, +¼; Charges: 8, -½; Selective Target: +¼; Area Effect (Radius): 7″ radius, +1; OIF (Philosophers Stone Ring): -½ 0
u-2 Transformation of Wujing; Charges: 3, -¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Trigger (Getting into a serious melee): Set, +¼; Burnout: 14, -¼; Side Effects (User winds up owing a notable service to heaven, and will have to undertake some sort of mission to restore the use of this spell): 30/Half, -½; IAF (Sacred Symbol of Wujing): -½
(7) +8 DEX; Charges: 3, -¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Trigger (Getting into a serious melee): Set, +¼; Burnout: 14, -¼; Side Effects (User winds up owing a notable service to heaven, and will have to undertake some sort of mission to restore the use of this spell): 30/Half, -½; IAF (Sacred Symbol of Wujing): -½
(7) +25 STR; Charges: 3, -¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Trigger (Getting into a serious melee): Set, +¼; Burnout: 14, -¼; Side Effects (User winds up owing a notable service to heaven, and will have to undertake some sort of mission to restore the use of this spell): 30/Half, -½; IAF (Sacred Symbol of Wujing): -½ 0
(6) Force Field (12 PD/8 ED); Charges: 3, -¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Trigger (Getting into a serious melee): Set, +¼; Burnout: 14, -¼; Side Effects (User winds up owing a notable service to heaven, and will have to undertake some sort of mission to restore the use of this spell): 30/Half, -½; IAF (Sacred Symbol of Wujing): -½ 0
u-2 Gates of Fusang / Extra-Dimensional Movement; Dimensions (The Chinese Afterworlds): Group, +10; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Area Effect (Radius): 7″ radius, +1; Selective Target: +¼; Active Points: 97; Charges: 3, -1¼; Focus (Golden Key hanging from belt): Inobvious Accessible, -½; Activation: 11-, -1; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½ 0
u-1 3d6 Eight Trigram Taoist Ritual Magic (Fade/turn, Max. 90); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Trigger: Changeable, +½; Extra Time: 1 min., -1½; Activation: 11-, -1; Generic Limitation (May only have eight pre-prepared ritual effects at a time): -½; Generic Limitation (Ability goes away after one activation.): -½ 3
Common Slots from the Dragon Gauntlets

These are mostly when anticipating combat; if he isn’t he’s likely to have a utility spell or two handy.

u-2 5d6 Eye of Erleng Shen / Energy Blast; Range: 0; Versus: ED; Based on EGO Combat Value: vs. ECV, +1; Area Effect (Radius): 12″ radius, +1; Selective Target: +¼; Increased Area: ×2, +¼; No Range: -½; Charges: +8, -½; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Variable Limitations (Each slot already has at least -1 in limitations, leaving only another -1/2 – usually an OIF/Magical Rings): -1½, -¾; Extra Time: full phase, -½ 0
u-2 1d6 Chant of Creation / Transform Landscape and Structures (Major, Limited Class); Range: 0; Cumulative: +½; Area Effect (Radius): 250″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×125, +1¾; Autofire: 10 shots, ¾; Charges: 125, +¾; No Range (Only works in a radius around him.): -½; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½ 0
u-2 Veiling The Sun’s Eyes; Charges: 3, -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Variable Limitations (Each slot already has at least -1 in limitations, leaving only another -1/2 – usually an OIF/Magical Rings): -1½, -¾; Extra Time: full phase, -½
(6) Spatial Awareness; Charges: 3, -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼
(2) 360-Degree Sensing (Spatial Awareness) (Unusual Senses); Charges: 3, -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼
(13) Darkness (Hearing, Sight, 5″ radius); Range: 0; No Range: -½; Charges: 3, -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼ 0
u-2 3d6 Light of the Ten Suns / Flash (Detect, Sight); Range: 450; Area Effect (Radius): 8″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×2, +¼; Charges: 12, -¼; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼ 0
u-2 9d6 Unbroken Grasp of the Underworld / Entangle (DEF 9); Range: 450; Generic Limitation (Only works on creatures within 3″ of the ground): -¼; Generic Limitation: -¼; Charges: +6, -¾ 0
u-2 Dreams of the Moon / Images (Hearing, Sight, 16″ radius); Range: 440; Observer PER Penalty: 8, +24; Charges: +6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; OAF (A Mirror): -1 0
2 Elemental Control: Pulp Hero (5-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (No power may exceed 10 active points.): -¾; Visible (Obvious pulp hero.): -¼
a-2 Armor: Only a flesh wound! (4 PD/3 ED)
b-2 +10 PRE: I’ve seen worse!
c-2 Mental Defense: Unconquered Will (13 pts)
d-2 +5 CON: Tough As Nails
e-2 Regeneration (1 BODY/hour); Regenerate: Standard, +0
f-2 Resistance (+10 to EGO Rolls)
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
70 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
15 Money (Filthy Rich)
10 +2 level w/Multipower
2 Diplomatic Immunity; Generic Limitation (Only in the Chinese Spirit Worlds): -1
3 Scholar
1 Knowledge: Alchemy and Magical Artifacts 11-
1 Knowledge: China 11-
1 Knowledge:History 11-
1 Knowledge: Sorcery 11-
1 Knowledge: The Magical Realms 11-
1 Knowledge: Magical Beings 11-
1 Knowledge: Mystic Artifacts 11-
3 Linguist
0 Mandarin (Imitate Dialects); Literacy: Standard, 0
2 Wu (Completely Fluent w/accent); Literacy: Standard, 0
1 English (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
1 Arabic (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
Yu Qilin has plenty of servants and minions – but in game terms they’re all built on zero points with a couple of disadvantages, and are pretty ineffectual compared to any hero. They were good at kidnapping DNPC’s and such back in the 20’s when the west often saw Yu Qilin as being a villain or some such though. Similarily, he has plenty of “bases” too, but they are – once again – built on zero points with a couple of disadvantages, and don’t actually cost him anything.
44 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
25 Pinyan of the Pheonix King; OIF (Pinyan – a Chinese-Style Jacket): -½; Side Effects (Watched by the Phoenix King and the Eyes of Heaven, ): 30/Half, -½; Generic Limitation (Side Effects cannot be avoided. ): -½; Visible (The magical aura of the Celestial Phoenix Feathers in the garment are obvious to any mage. The coat itself is absurdly conspicuous.): -¼
(5) 5″ Flight (NC: 10″) 0; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 15; Reduced END: Zero, +½
(4) Running (+4″, 10″, NC: 20″) 0; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 12; Reduced END: Zero, +½
(5) Armor (5 PD/5 ED)
(11) Life Support (total)
5 2d6 The Dragon Guantlets: Aid to Taoist Sorcery Multipower Slots (Fade/week, Max. 12) 0; Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Charges: +3, -1¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; OIF (Dragon Gauntlets): -½; Generic Limitation (Game Master allots half the granted points.): -1; Autofire: 5 shots, ½
30 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
20 Normal Characteristic Maxima
5 Dependent NPC (Daughter) (Slightly Less Powerful, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
10 Dependent NPC: Descendant (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
5 Distinctive Features: Dresses as an Ancient Chinese Sorcerer-Priest; Concealability: Easily, 5; Reaction: Noticed and Recognizable, +0
10 Hunted: Assorted other Occultists (They want the Pinyan of the Phoenix King). (11-); Capabilities: Less Powerful, 5; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
20 No Code Against Killing (Common, Total)
15 Honorable (Common, Strong)
15 Reputation: Elder Chinese Sorcerer-Judge (11-, Extreme)
10 Watched: Western Heroes (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
15 Superpatriot (Uncommon, Total)
125 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
46 + 114 = 160 225 = 125 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
5 5 5 13 13/9 12/8 3, 6, 9, 12

 

Champions – Doctor Wyoming Smith

Doctor Wyoming Smith likes to claim that “Indiana Jones” is based on him – and, at least within the setting, he might be right. He should be pretty recognizable either way. Regardless of his true origin, Dr Smith is pretty much at the upper end of things for a normal human pulp hero. While his “powers” and skills are hardly impressive by the standards of a Champion, they’re expert-plus by normal standards – and their breadth is impressive. About the only things he’s not all that good at are electronics, computers, and electronic systems – and if he’s coming out of his semi-retirement, he’ll probably get those sorted out in short order.

——————————————————————————

Unlike most “young heroes”, Doctor Smith was born in 1899 – and if it wasn’t for his drastically- slowed aging, he’d be long past his (apparent) late 30’s. Over decades of adventuring, he’s lived a long and full life. He’s had children, and grandchildren, and he’s found friends – and made enemies – all over the world. He’s spent much of that time in the shadows, dealing with the things that most people would rather ignore – and now that those things are out in the open again, his role is being thrown into prominence once again.

He isn’t really aware that he’s started a new stage in his life; he was more or less at his limits – but now, as a Champion, he can continue to develop. Unlike most of the kids he hasn’t yet shown any new powers, but it is pretty much certain that he will. Until then… Doctor Smith will defend himself and advise the reckless youngsters who have been entrusted with the burdens of the defense.

——————————————————————————

Doctor Smith was requested – but another reason for building him was because I went looking for an existing adaption and found one built on 720 points – and inferior to this version in almost every way (notably, by having no “pulp powers” or equipment at all). Yes, it was for a later edition that increased the cost of skills (a mistake, since skills are already over-expensive when compared to the cost of building a near-infallible “skill multipower” with small powers that can do the same things almost instantly) – but 720 points? That’s really kind of excessive for a fairly normal human, even if you throw in a bit of plot armor, iron will, rapid “between scenes” healing, and other cinematic touches – which the build didn’t. 

Overall, Doctor Smith can play the wise mentor and handle almost any situation calling for mundane skills. He can defeat basic humans by the score – but isn’t really up to fighting serious superhumans. On the other hand… he can handle all your needs for local contacts all by himself. That’s not a bad power all by itself.

 

Wyoming Smith

Value Characteristic Points
15 STR 5
15 DEX 15
13/18 CON 6
10 BODY 0
13 INT 3
11 EGO 2
15 PRE 5
13 COM 1
4 PD 1
4 ED 0
3 SPD 5
7 REC 0
20 END -8
27 STUN 0
Total 35

 

Points Powers END
2 Elemental Control: Pulp Hero (5-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (No power may exceed 10 active points.): -¾; Visible (Obvious pulp hero.): -¼
a-2 Armor: Only a flesh wound! (4 PD/3 ED)
b-2 +10 PRE: I’ve seen worse!
c-2 Mental Defense: Unconquered Will (12 pts)
d-2 +5 CON: Tough As Nails
e-2 Regeneration (1 BODY/hour)
f-2 Resistance (+10 to EGO Rolls)
13 Pulp Fisticuffs Multipower (30-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (Martial Arts Powers Only): -½; Generic Limitation (Slots may not contain more than 15 active points. He may thus use two slots at a time): -½; Visible (Obvious pulp hero.): -¼
m-1 +10 STR: Expert at Leverage; Doesn’t Affect Figured: -½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Generic Limitation (Only for combat purposes; cannot lift massive weights, rip apart entangles, etc.): -½ 0
m-1 Hand-to-Hand Attack / Fists of Steel (3d6, Total 6d6); Range: 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
m-1 Hand-to-Hand Attack Stunning Strike / Joint Lock (2d6, Total 3½d6); Range: 0; No Normal Defense (Vrs bulky body armor, amorphous or animated-solid body,, or otherwise not having nerves to strike at.): +1; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
m-1 ½d6 Killing Attack (HTH) / Bone Breaker (Total 1d6+1); Range: 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
m-1 +5 DEX / Practiced Brawler
m-1 Running / Light On His Feet (+5″, 11″, NC: 22″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 11; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
m-1 Superleap / Mighty Leap (+5″, 8″, NC: 16″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 11; Reduced END: Zero 0
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
4 2d6 Aid: To local knowledges and contacts (Fade/week, Max. 12); Range: 0; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Activation: 14-, -½; Side Effects (An old enemy turns up.): 30/Half, -½; Charges: +3, -1¼; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Generic Limitation (Effects are fixed for any given area; once it is established that you know the greater Los Angeles area at 11- and have two contacts there, this will change only if the GM opts to change it.): -½; This “power” allows the user to have a selection of local knowledges and contacts pretty much everywhere he or she goes – but the deeper the user’s knowledge of an area, the more likely that there’s an old enemy around somewhere. 0
1 Immune to Aging; Generic Limitation (Ages very slowly compared to a normal human, but does age): -1
45 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
30 +6 level w/Overall Level; Side Effects (User is hotly pursued by nefarious groups that want to use his or her skills and is regularly dragged into bizarre adventures.): 30/Half, -½; Generic Limitation (Side effects cannot be avoided.): -½
28 Basic Skills
(1) Acrobatics 8-
(0) Acting 8-
(1) Animal Handler 8-
(1) Breakfall 8-
(1) Bribery 8-
(1) Bureaucratics 8-
(0) Climbing 8-
(1) Combat Driving 8-
(1) Combat Piloting 8-
(0) Concealment 8-
(0) Conversation 8-
(1) Criminology 8-
(1) Cryptography 8-
(0) Deduction 8-
(1) Demolitions 8-
(1) Disguise 8-
(1) Forensic Medicine 8-
(1) Gambling 8-
(1) High Society 8-
(1) Interrogation 8-
(1) Lockpicking 8-
(1) Mechanics 8-
(1) Navigation 8-
(1) Oratory 8-
(0) Paramedic 8-
(0) Persuasion 8-
(0) Profession: Teacher 8-
(1) Riding 8-
(1) Security Systems 8-
(1) Seduction 8-
(0) Shadowing 8-
(1) Sleight of Hand 8-
(0) Stealth 8-
(1) Streetwise 8-
(1) Survival 8-
(1) Tactics 8-
(1) Tracking 8-
(1) Trading 8-
8 Transport Familarities
(2) Ground Vehicles
(2) Air Vehicles
(2) Riding Animals
(2) Water Vehicles
8 Language Skills
(3) Linguist
(0) English (Imitate Dialects); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) French (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) German (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) Spanish (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) Ancient Egyptian (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) Mayan (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
8 Knowledge Skills
(3) Scholar
(1) Geography 11-
(1) Art 11-
(1) Law 11-
(1) Mythology 11-
(1) Music 11-
(0) Popular Culture 8-
(0) Museums of the World 8-
12 Sciences
(3) Scientist
(1) Anthropology 11-
(1) Archaeology 11-
(1) Architecture 11-
(1) History 11-
(1) Linguistics 11-
(1) Literature 11-
(1) Occultism 11-
(1) Paleontology 11-
(1) Sociology 11-
3 Perks
(1) Assorted Degrees
(1) Passport
(1) International Driver’s License
3 Talents
(3) Lightsleep
100 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
4 1d6+1 Pistol: Ranged Killing Attack 0; Range: 100; OAF: -1; Charges: +6, -¼; Clips: 4; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Independent: -2; Visible (Must often be left behind): -¼; Generic Limitation (Takes one phase per round to reload. ): -¼
5 Whip: Stretching (3″, NC: 6) 0; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; OAF (Whip): -1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Generic Limitation (Whip: Cannot push, or force things to one side, no noncombat multiplier, etc.): -½; Independent: -2
8 Lucky Hat (Luck) (6d6); Focus (Hat): Inobvious Accessible, -½; Independent: -2; Only in Hero ID: -¼
1 Absolute Time Sense (Wears a Watch).; OAF (Watch): -1
!2 Leather Jacket: Armor (1 PD/1 ED) ; OIF (Adventuer’s Outfit): -½
20 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
10 Reputation: Adventuring – and Meddlesome – Archeologist (11-)
5 Rivalry: Other Adventurous “Archeologists”; Situation: Professional, 5; Position: Equal, +0; Rival: NPC, +0
15 Dependent NPC: Girlfriend / Sidekick (Normal, 11-); Skills: Normal, +0
5 Dependent NPC Father or Associate (Slightly Less Powerful, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
20 Hunted: Malevolent Government/Occult Organization of the day. (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 Watched: The Authorities (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
10 4d6 Unluck; Generic Limitation (Only for randomly running into old enemies): -1
15 Code of Chivalry (Common, Strong)
15 Cannot bear to destroy historical artifacts and knowledge (Common, Strong)
20 No code versus killing (Common, Total)
125 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
35 + 145 = 180 225 = 125 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
5 5 4 12 9/5 8/4 4, 8, 12

 

The Shadowed Galaxy and the Party of Last Resort

After fifteen sessions working together, the Shadowed Galaxy group has opted to develop a Party Template. Hey, it’s a few extra points – and those can be hard to come by in a low-level game. For a group name they have gone with “Last Resort Inc.” – although they’re hoping to become publicly known by something better.

It’s a pity that Party Templates do not work that way; unless they come up with a public name very very fast indeed, they will indeed soon be well known as “that bunch of guys you hire as a Last Resort”.

Party Disadvantages:

  • Outcast: The party is known to be heavily “infected” by Idiotic Tech – and so is unwelcome on many major inhabited worlds. This was sort of inevitable, given that their group includes an AI which generates robotic versions of various undead creatures to embody itself, a “Vampire”, a “Mummy”, and a woman with an alien crystalline symbiote, as well as several dabblers in powers that humans can’t handle very well.
  • History: With quite a few sessions behind them, the party has definitely built up some history. Sadly enough, this has led to a lot of people expecting them to do large jobs, successfully, on the cheap.
  • Obligations: Currently the group has some massive debts, mostly with respect to their vehicles, and has an assortment of NPC hirelings to protect (and pay salaries to).
  • Restriction: Characters who wish to get the benefits of the Party Template must cooperate, work towards their goals, and engage in little or no backstabbing.

With a current base level of four, this +0 Template is worth (10 CP for Disadvantages + 4 CP for a restriction over three levels) = 14 CP. That isn’t a lot – but it’s enough for some handy little bonuses. Their template will include: ..

  • A +3 Specialty in Bullet Time / Reducing Damage (1 CP).

That’s not an enormous increase in their ability to withstand damage, but it’s not at all bad for 1 CP.

  • A +3 Specialty in Armory / Life Support Systems (1 CP).

Given that most of their operations are in space, and many of the remainder are in airless locations, they might as well have cheap access to life support systems. Otherwise it’s just a required fee for playing, and those generally aren’t much fun.

  • A +3 Specialty in Stealing The Scene (Deadly Strike and Perfect Coordination). Note that this is only usable if the character has access to Stealing the Scene in the first place (1 CP).

Like it or not, the party fairly often finds themselves trying to coordinate some bizarre maneuver that’s all too likely to get them killed if they fail – and they often find themselves trying to make some critical shot too. Rather than force them all to buy Luck so that I won’t have to deal with a total party kill if their plan doesn’t work out, here’s a way that they can – when the situation is suitable – just have it work.

  • Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted/Only for Skill Emphasis, can only be changed by extensive retraining, provides a +2 boost to any single skill (3 CP).

This is another cheap bit – but being able to rely on the others lets them focus on their personal specialties just a bit more. So they get a small skill bonus on whatever they invest that extra time and effort in.

  • Immunity to Friendly Fire (Very Common, Major, Minor, Corrupted/only works when the party member “firing” is aware of the user’s presence, 7 CP). Stops up to 12 points of damage or gives a +4 bonus on a relevant save.

The party has become adept at placing attacks and effects so as to minimize the effects on each other – allowing them to get a lot freer about firing into melee, throwing grenades all too near their friends, and employing similar tactics. Admittedly, this lesson was learned from shooting or blowing each other up all too many times – but that’s all forgiven! they’re all friends now! Right? Right? Er… Did you HAVE to use the flamethrower on the guy who was wrestling with me?!?!

  • +1 to Vehicles, Double-Specialized for Increased Effect: only for Piloting checks, only for making up for the usual “-4″ non-proficiency penalty for using each other’s vehicles (1 CP).

Double specialization is normally a pretty big red flag – and “for increased effect” is worse – but in this instance it seems pretty reasonable. Just as importantly, no really obvious likely abuses are coming to mind for being able to give the controls of a vehicle that they’ve seen you pilot a dozen times to someone else for a bit without risking a disastrous fumble – so I’m going to allow it this time.

And that’s 14 CP. This isn’t quite as distinct a “party identity” template as I might have liked – it’s full of combat training instead of group contacts and such – but then they are PC’s and an interstellar exploration setting isn’t very conducive to developing detailed local knowledges, special contacts, and similar stuff. Tactical stuff it will just have to be.