Ninsei’s Private Musings: The Scope of the Problem

   Next up for today, we have another player contribution – in this case another installment of Ninsei’s private musings. The topic is systems of government in the Empire and on Rokugan’s world in general.

   I think I am beginning to realize the full scope of the problem facing Rokugan. While it maybe easy to set up what seems to be a benign government that is moderately effective in running things, it looks like it is far more difficult to create one that is both stable enough to endure and yet remains dynamic enough to react to outside pressures.

   It looks like any reasonably competent and charismatic individual can create a system that works reasonably well so long as they are around to help give it focus. The Yodatai system was just one such experiment along these lines. One Emperor managed to work out a way to not only make sure that those people most capable of performing a function got it, but also to guarentee their loyalty at the same time. He set up a network of magical links which kept everyone organized into the desired social order. This worked insofar as he was able to keep the system focused on a single goal – loyalty to their empire.

   Unfortunately, that focus was on him, personally, as head of the empire – and once he died, the bonds which kept everyone coordinated and working together continued to work, but people reverted to personal loyalties – and, ultimately to loyalty to themselves. Seizing control of the empire became the only goal for the masses, and expanding it became the only goal for whoever was in control. Even the Yodatai gods apparently eventually lost patience with the Yodatai inability to focus on anything beyond themselves.

   The system became a headless beast thrashing around the world conquering and enslaving everything in it’s path. And with the spirit binding ensuring that enslaved people could be pulled into the Yodatai afterlife to reincarnate as more Yodatai, this quickly set up one of the worst case scenarios I can see trying to face; an ever growing army of highly competent and fanatically loyal soldiers that must continue to feed itself and justify it’s existence by an endless war of conquest. And every soldier in this army is solely concerned with proving himself and moving up the ranks, even at the expense of their superiors. I am fairly certain that this is not what that first Emperor had in mind when he started this.

   The Yodatai system is remarkably stable in it’s own way. It is also completely out of control even for those supposedly calling themselves Emperor. It was so unable to adapt that when it finally ran into resistance that could threaten it’s existence – apparently a possible future version of my more ruthless self – that it proceeded to wipe itself out against my forces to the last man, woman, and child. This is far from ideal.

   So being stable is not enough. We – that is, everyone working on the problem – need to ensure that whatever system we come up with is responsive to change and that no one individual can get enough power to threaten its existence. Conversely the system cannot be dependent on any one person regardless of how powerful or long-lived that persona may be; it must be stable enough to not have these safeguards break down.

   First off, Stability:

   By selectively recruiting people that are rationally loyal and competent, we can ensure that the system that works and can maintain itself as long as it works to start with. We can also teach these people to not fall into the temptation that leads to the corruption of power. In this way we avoid the Yodatai trap: the system is not dependent on any one individual nor is it run by a bunch of insane zealots willing to sacrafice everyone beneath them just to make their own lives better. The Mandate of Heaven will have good application in this. I think it would be prudent to overhaul the Emerald Magistrate system to include the Mandate of Heaven school as one of it’s central cornerstones. In this way we can ensure a system of competent, loyal, and uncorrupted magistrates out to enforce Imperial Law in a fair and unbiased way.

   After some time (several generations I would suspect), the system should largely be running itself with little input required from me or from anyone else. Replacements should be chosen from among those most qualified and best psychologically suited to the tasks, given the training needed to work effectively at their jobs, and then sent out and do what needs to be done. Less and less intervention would be required, until at some point, whether I am Emperor, or even if anyone is Emperor is largely a moot point – as long as a sufficient number of competent individuals are available.

   We also need to install safeguards to prevent powerful individuals from being able to just plow their way through the system as they please. This applies just as much to powerful foreigners like the Asuras and Yodatai Emperors as much as it does to the occassional Super Evil Maho User or homegrown renegade. The problem is, the current system relies on the having a trump card – in the form of the most powerful individual currently available – on it’s side. And when this is not the case, such as with Fu Leng, the system breaks down and it’s existence is threatened.

   The Merenae answer to this appears to lie in the historical accident of firearms. By creating weapons that almost anyone can use, including eta, it becomes possible to kill even the most fearsome of opponents by throwing enough people at the problem – even if they have only minimal training and a few pieces of equipment each. While this works in keeping the people with a great deal of personal power from imposing their will, it also means that the ultimate arbitor of things becomes the uneducated masses. I am not certain that the wisdom of the mob is on par with making decisions of state. Not to mention that this changes things from requiring would be dictators to possess vast personal power, to the possession of vast personal charisma – and that is one of the situations we wish to avoid, as someone with enough charisma to lead an army of peasants may not necessarily have any idea what to do with it other than cause chaos. Not a good idea.

   The Ivory Kingdom’s answer lies in the fact that the Meditations of Unity provide an awful lot of really skilled powerhouses running around and that some of them have gotten bored with running amok. Now I imagine that most of the Asuras mean well in their own way, but the fact remains that the Ivory Kingdoms are only protected from powerful people by the very people they are being protected from. It seems to work, on the other hand, the collateral damage from personal grudges that can span millenia can wipe kingdoms of the face of the earth on occasion. We just watched it happen. The system works only because the place is so decentralized that the loss of an entire kingdom can go unnoticed.

   Rokugan’s answer has historically been the Jade Magistrates. Now admittedly, when it comes to chasing down Maho cults and dealing with the Tainted, they do reasonably well. The problem gets to be that this is not going to cut it for much longer. Asuras, Yodatai loons, Priests of Madness from Senpet, Rakasha, and whatever else may be coming in are going to overwhelm the system shortly. What we need is the ability to quickly analyze weird troublemakers, tear down whatever defenses they may have, and then defeat them. Nothing like that really exists as a formal system within the Imperial system.

   We ran across a possible answer unexpectedly in the unruly countryside of the Scorpion Clan borders. A Ronin looking to make a claim for himself had managed to cobble together a school that enabled him to kill a demon of no small power. He was able to analyze the demon, find a way to negate it’s defenses, and then kill it. This is especially remarkable when you consider the fact that this man has probably never had to kill a demon before in his life. Now he also had functions of his school that better enabled him to function as an administrator and these could prove useful to the Emerald Magistrates, but the techniques to kill weird supernatural creatures with only a bit of study could be a very powerful tool for the Jade Magistrates.

   We need to use the talents of the Asuras, Devas, Yodatai Emperors, and whoever else to help us through this difficult period confronting us. But we must also revamp the Magistrate system to give them the tools to govern effectively and to keep these allies of necessity in line. The system can no longer be dependent on a powerful individual being Emperor or Shogun to keep things going, it must run itself and defend itself from the rest of the world. We may need a new type of Magistrate: someone who brings back concepts from the rest of the world – or acts to contain them if they are too disruptive. Perhaps Obisidian Magistrates?

   Another one of the current problems both here and elsewhere, is that most of the systems running around whether – Rokugani or Gajin – tend to be very static. The Yodatai are a great example of this, although Senpet and Rokugan both have their own variants of the problem. Clinging idly to traditions millenia old while blatantly ignoring the change around you is a recipe for disaster. The Yodatai, being unable to think beyond the idea of conquer everything, eventually met an opponent capable of threatening their entire existence if they continued on their path. Instead of stopping at the cliff and deciding if a change of course was in order, the entire people leapt over the edge of the cliff with a battlecry. Now – a thousand years into yet another possible future – the Yodatai have been extinct for eight hundred years.

   Rokugan isn’t quite as bad, but then again, it has been stated by the elder gods of Senpet that we are stuck in some sort of infinite loop. Is that why we repeat the clash of philosophies every thousand years? Have we never learned to reconcile them or make a full choice?

   A good place to start is to start looking at other cultures and peoples, and start making a list of what does and does not work from a cultural and governmental standpoint. Borrow the things that work, avoid the things that don’t. While the Crane are the clan of tradition, there is a need for a clan to find new things and try them. It occurs to me that this might be one of the better ways to try and integrate the Unicorn Clan back into Rokugani society. By giving the Unicorn a focus for using the knowledge they have learned (and could still stand to learn) from the outside to change the traditions of society and help to discard old tradations no longer useful, we could break out of this loop we have managed to get stuck in. We cannot allow the gajin to get an advantage on us by coming up with a new set of traditions or ideas that put us in a weaker position.

   While it is good to look to others for ideas, we are also going to have to come up with our own if we wish to be truly an independent society. Somehow we are going to have to come up with a system that comes up with new ideas, tries them in some fashion, and then evaluates the results. I am not aware of any such system, no can I conceive of how such a system might be built or organized. Whatever the gods of Madness are doing is too haphazard for me to really call a “system” per se; they seem to just throw things together and watch what happens. This is one that I am going to have to think on, look for inspiration, and hope that I come up with something before my time inevitably comes to an end.

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More Identities

   For today, we have another power-package for Eclipse: The Codex Persona; in this case another two (but very similar) Identities for Kevin Sanwell. This particular package is grossly high-powered, and should be regarded with caution if it’s going to come into play much.

Ailill Keras’an’Darkell, Lord of Darkness, Spawn of the Dragon-Realms.

   The Dragonworlds are a curious mixture of high-fantasy and high-tech, with a star-spanning empire powered by technomagic, inhabited by various fantasy races and anthropomorphic animals, and ruled by draconic overlords. Currently the Empire is headed by a powerful red dragon, who took power to complete the negotiated period of red dragon rulership after a certain chaos-bringing squirrel and company took out the previous Emperor. Well, he had wanted to destroy the universe anyway, so even his (very, very few) allies couldn’t be bothered trying to rescue him from his fate.

   Kevin, as Ailill Keras’an’Darkell, an adolescent red dragon-mage, had undertaken a number of adventures in the Dragon Empire. He had risen to command a contingent of its secret police, and had been noticed by the Emperor himself when he helped construct a modest network of gates throughout the empire so that the Emperor could exert his power more effectively. For his reward, he asked – in lieu of their being sold, killed, or given away – for ownership of any young dragons from the imperial harem that the Emperor elected to dispose of in the next year. After all, everyone knew that the Emperor had been fathering clutches averaging about a hundred children a year for the last four hundred years, and generally lost his temper with, and disposed of, five or six a year (most of the rest were fostered out or banished relatively young). Kevin had always kind of wanted to own a dragon or two, and being one locally just exaggerated the attractiveness of the notion.

   The Emperor barely gave it a thought. Another adolescent male wanting a harem and grabbing a chance at a high-quality one. That sort of ambition was no threat to him – in fact, it was sort of a compliment – so he’d save Kevin for later use rather than having him disposed of as being too potentially powerful (his contribution to the gate-network had been impressive). He made it a three year grant and directed the imperial slave-schools to handle the slavebindings and training for the boy.

   Two years and three months later, Amilko Moonshadow and his friends captured and sold off the Emperor. Two months after that, a new Emperor was seated. He kept the adult females of the imperial harem – but, being just as throughly chaotic evil as the prior Emperor – casually ordered his predecessors children disposed of. With Kevin’s grant still in effect, he suddenly found himself in possession of a massive harem and a small horde of harem guards / attendants / servants, and plenty of high-quality in-the-egg, wyrmling, very young, young, and juvenile red dragon slave-stock to sell – all but the eggs throughly trained and bound by imperial methods.

   Kevin, spurred by the powerful drives and detachment of the dragon-form, has fathered quite a few clutches of eggs, but so far only one of the hatchlings has turned out to have a soul. That one Kevin – aware of the deadly and unpredictable tempers that go with being a dragon – paid to have fostered out with more reliable parents.

   Kevin has been maintaining his identity as Ailill for nearly twelve years now – for the most part with few complications. The Dragonworlds are near-forgotten, and never drew that many souls in the first place. With an average of only a dozen or so per planet, not much changes there.

   As Ailill, Kevin sired clutches of eggs on his harem, regularly defeated and enslaved would-be challengers, fended off occasional parties of adventurers (a major reason why he opted for a position in the secret police), and enjoyed the perks of wealth and power. He also took full advantage of the chance to be unapologetically ruthless and dominant. Kevin would like to be a chaotic evil red dragon; it’s so much less complicated than having a conscience, being fair, and not taking full advantage of every opportunity to exploit people. In the Dragonworlds, he can relax: all you need to do to live up to your social obligations there is to not torture people hideously before you eat them – and enslaving them rather than eating them is being remarkably nice.

   Fortunately for the universe, what he actually does is mostly find evil excuses for doing the decent thing.

   There have been a couple of blips however. One of the hundreds of hatchling’s he’s sired turned out to actually have a soul (Kevin hadn’t thought that that was possible) – and the survival odds for young males are less than 5%. The chance of actually growing up to be a father is far far less than that. That was intolerable: fostering the child safely would help for the first few years, but only enhancing his powers enough to enthrall the boy would guarantee the kids survival – and it took quite awhile to learn to do that. After that, it took somewhat longer to convince the boy to “sign up” – but the kid is safely enthralled now, and nearly six years old. More recently, he encountered Kelseru Ana’Nasu – a young ensouled dragoness from yet another world. While Kevin did take advantage of his power (and a moment of vulnerability) to bind her to him and add her to his harem of dragonesses, that relationship is still developing. Kelsaru didn’t really understand what she was getting into when she came to the Dragonworlds; in her homeworld dragons aren’t nearly so prolific.

   The world laws of the Dragonworlds reduce the cost of any draconic Identity there by two skill ranks, however the raw power of the form makes such an identity rather addictive: those who take draconic Identities tend to find themselves caught up in local affairs and sometimes even have to make willpower checks to leave… In fact, the place tends to push more powerful visitors – and especially those with unallocated ranks of the Identities skill – into roles as dragons (usually fairly young ones). Few dragons are actually ensouled, including those with ensouled parents: no one really knows why (indeed, relatively few people know it at all). In a few cases, the dragonform has even been known to “stick”, becoming the user’s actual form – although they must then come up with the CP cost to pay for it.

   Ailill is a level 12 identity – albeit only level 10 after the worldlaw adjustment – and so is a role of enormous power, providing an extra 96 CP to work with. Secondarily, of course, this build – being more of an example than anything practical (since the game spends very little time in the Dragonworlds) – is about as broken as I can make it.

   Of those 96 CP, 31 CP go to simply being a Dragon. However, the basic dragon package includes:

  • 30 CP: Innate Enchantment
    • +2 to Enhancement Bonus to Each Attribute (8400)
    • +4d6 Hit Dice (Maximized) (8400)*
    • Enlarge Self (1400): +1 Size Category (+8 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Con, -1 Attack Modifier, -4 Skill Modifier, +2 Natural armor, Reach 10).*
    • Perceptiveness: +3 to all Sensory Skill Checks (1400)*
    • Sidestep: +1 Competence Bonus on All Saves (1400)*
    • Warding Rune: +1 Resistance Bonus on All Saves (1400)
    • Shield: +4 Shield Bonus to AC (2000)
    • Iron Fist: +2 Levels (usually 1d8 base) natural weapons (1400).*
    • Low-Light Vision (1400)*
    • Personal Haste (1400): +30′ Movement, +1 attack at full BAB when making a full attack.
    • Detect Magic (700).
  • 6 CP: Celerity/Additional Mode (Flight). Corrupted (Requires use of wings), Specialized: Poor Maneuverability, 60′ total base.
  • 9 CP: Immunity to Antimagic and Dispelling vrs Innate Enchantments (Uncommon / Minor/Epic, 9 CP).*
  • 9 CP: Defender (L/5+1 Natural Armor bonus to AC, 12 CP) (Net effect L/2.5+2 Bonus to AC).*
  • 9 CP: Universal DR 4/-.* Note that “Universal” DR applies to both energy and physical damage.
  • 6 CP: Occult Sense/Darksight.
  • 0 CP: Energy Infusion of choice: in his case Fire. Immune to Fire, double damage from Cold.
  • 3 CP: Immunity to Aging (Uncommon/Minor/Great, 3 CP). Dragons can expect to live for many centuries. In Kevins case this is redundant, but it’s still a part of the package.
  • 24 CP: Go to buying a dragon’s personal unique powers – usually a “breath weapon or selection thereof. In Kevin’s case these go to upgrading his Dark Magic to covers level five spells.
  • 6 CP: Augmented Bonus: add [Base] Str Mod to Con Mod when computing HP for his [seven] L0 and Template Hit Dice.
  • Special Notes:
    • Items marked with an “*” should be treated as exceptional physical abilities, and will operate in the Core. The rest of it relies on magic.
    • All abilities are Specialized and Corrupted (one-third cost except for Defender, which is two-thirds cost at double effect): Transforms user into an obvious dragon, gives them a physically-clumsy form with various obvious limitations and a limited ability to use gear, makes them vulnerable to anti-dragon magical effects and weaponry, user is an obvious supernatural being and radiates magical power and an aura that disturbs normal humans and animals even when shapeshifted, body parts are quite valuable. Base Cost: 41 CP.
    • Since Kevin has “Thugs” and “Servants” available in all of his identities – those abilities are a part of his basic character sheet – his local thugs and servants are draconic attendants and concubines.
  • Package Disadvantages: Hunted (by rival dragons and dragon-hunters), Insane (at least by human standards – they are greedy and hoarding, arrogant, predatory, dominating, and don’t care much about their children – if only because they may have hundreds if female and thousands if male), and Accursed (can be subdued or forced into obedience by some means, although it’s usually unique to each dragon). -10 CP, reducing the net cost to 31 CP.

   Now that “Being a Dragon” is out of the way, there are still 65 additional CP to spend. These go to:

  • 12 CP: Upgrading his Dark Magic to allow level six abjuration, evocation, and transmutation spells.
  • 3 CP: Privilege/Being a commander in the imperial secret police.
  • 6 CP: Firm Control on Ridden by the Loa, Specialized in the Half-Celestial and Half-Infernal Templates.
  • 9 CP: Immunity/Vehicle-Scale Weapons (Common/Major/Major, reduces damage from such attacks by 30 points).
  • 6 CP: Blood of the Dragon: Makes [Cha Mod] spell levels worth of raw magic available each minute.
  • 9 CP: The Dragon’s Bones (6 CP). May maintain (Int Mod+2) levels of spells without effort. +3 CP for +3 levels base (Int Mod +5). Corrupted for 1.5x Effect: personal enhancement spells only.
  • 8 CP: Channeling/Spell Conversion, set of 4xL5 Effects Specialized (Ritual only, Double Effect) and Corrupted (Blatant Black Magic). His effects include Dark Lore (creates any L8 Divination effect), Greater Gate (lasts up to one minute/level), Naming the Darkness (creates any L8 Conjuration Effect), and The Binding Will (creates any L8 Enchantment/Charm effect).
  • 4 CP: Narrow Skills: Draconic (including role-playing human) Psychology, Seduction, and Domination +44 (All 1SP +5 Training +Int Mod + Cha Mod + Dex Mod) (+50 after Morale Bonus), plus Dragonworlds Wealth +48 (1 SP, +5 Training +Int Mod +Cha Mod, +10 dangerous part-time job, +5 wealth-producing powers, +2 GM Bonus).
  • 3 CP: Luck with +2 Bonus Uses, specialized in Skills, Corrupted: only for use with Charisma-Based skills.
  • 5 CP: The Seal of Silence: This relic provides Immunity to Magical and Psychic Divination Effects (Common / Minor / Legendary, 24 CP) and Cloaking (blocked effects will register him as a slightly-stronger than normal young dragon with a few useful items and a minor enhancement spell or two).

   His current package of enhancement spells includes a total of 42 levels of spells.

  • L8 General Attribute Enhancement: +8 to all attributes.
  • L7 Force of Will: +4 Effective Levels (in Eclipse: +4d8 HD, +4 all Saves, +4 BAB, +24 CP (used on Immunity/Antimagic and Dispelling versus personally maintained spells (Uncommon/ Minor/ Epic, 9 CP) and Augmented Bonus (add Cha Mod to Int Mod for spell-sustaining purposes only, 6 CP),
  • L9 Warding Rune/Epic: Provides a +10 Resistance Bonus to Saves.
  • L9 Immortal Vigor IX: Provides +18d6 bonus Hit Dice – although only the 14d6 above the dragonform bonus count. Note that this also boosts the “level of use” for innate powers, such as Channeling and Path of the Dragon. (7 Base + 4 Positive levels + 18 HD = 29)
  • L9 Superheroism: This provides a +6 Morale Bonus to Attacks, Saves, Checks, Damage, Str and Con, renders the subjects Immune to Fear, and provides +60 HP. Two-thirds of these bonuses may be extended to up to 29 friends in the vicinity.
 

Str

Dex

Con

Int

Wis

Chr

Base

22

26

18

20

14

28

Size

30

24

22

20

14

28

Loa

34

26

26

22

18

32

Spells

48

34

40

30

26

40

Gear

52

36

40

30

26

40

Mod

+21

+13

+15

+10

+8

+15

Net effect:

  • Universal DR is 29/-, 33/- versus physical damage, add +30 versus vehicle-scale weapons (Universal DR 21/- derived form strength per world laws, +4/- from Smartclothes, +4/- from the Dragonform, +4/Energy from a Deflector Module).
  • HP 808: 28 (personal base) +30 (smartclothes) +86 [24+14d6 (62) from magical hit die boosts) +22 (hit points from positive level hit dice) +7x[Base Str Mod] (from dragonform augmented bonus) +29xCon Mod (7 personal hit dice, 4 from the dragonform, 14 more from his boosting spell, 4 from positive levels) +60 (Morale).
  • Reflex +36, Will +31, Fortitude +38 (all +2 Base, +1 Competence, +10 Resistance, +4 Positive Level, +6 Morale). Special Bonus: +3 on saves versus Poison.
  • BCL 29 (from hit dice) for Dark Magics and Channeling
  • Move 80′ Land, 100′ Flight (adding the +40′ bonus from Ridden by the Loa to the dragonform base)
  • AC 44 (10 (Base) + 13 (Dex) + 8 (Wis, per world rules) + 4 (Military Smartclothes) +6 (Natural) +4 Shield, -1 Size)
  • Spell Resistance 34 (5 + Hit Dice, 35 Maximum)
  • Resistance to Acid, Cold, and Electricity 10
  • Low-Light Vision, Darksight, and +3 to Sensory Skill Checks.
  • On the average, his base skills increase by an average of +9 (averaged attribute increases) +5 (general Int bonus per setting rules) + 6 (Morale) = +20.
  • His physical attacks are at +10 + attribute and other bonuses. +1 Attack when making a Full Attack.
  • Both the Half-Celestial and Half-Infernal Templates provide a variety of innate spells, but are otherwise pretty much identical. In general, Kevin prefers to use the Half-Celestial template. He has plenty of evil and destructive powers already, so the healing and holy stuff is a bonus.

   That’s still pretty appalling: Ailill isn’t nearly as good at physical combat as a “natural” Great Wyrm red dragon, is generally limited to a restricted selection of somewhat lower-level spells, and doesn’t have an innate breath weapon – but he’s just as tough (once the dragon gets the Str-based boost to its DR per setting rules), about as skilled (once the Dragon’s skills get the setting bonuses), and enjoys near-limitless use of the spells he does have at a higher caster level.

   On the other hand, just like any other highly-intelligent character, I’d expect most older dragons to invest in useful items. According to the 3.5 treasure tables, a Great Wyrm Red Dragon should have at least 36 major magic items – and, while some of them may be personal trophies, such as the armor of fallen foes, I’d expect most of them to be well-considered choices. A Great Wyrm should be decked out with attribute boosters, rings that help shield its elemental weakness, force-armor and shielding devices, a ring of wizardry (or similar device), a teleport-escape item, and a wide selection of other handy gadgets.

   Most of that wouldn’t do Ailill much good: a lot of those effects won’t stack with the enhancements that he’s already using and such items are invariably local magic – and thus not a lot of use to a wanderer of the Manifold. It’s still a horrific power build – particularly when combined with the existing power-build of the base character – but he’s not going to be up to challenging the dragon-emperor any time soon. He should, however, be able to deal with his likely challengers – young adults, adults, and occasional mature adults – with relative ease.

The Master of Kadia:

   Ailill served as a model for Kevin’s identity within the realm of Kadia. As creator of the dimension, Kevin issued himself a free L3 Identity – making “Master of Kadia” a L13 Identity, worth 104 points. That’s an appallingly powerful identity – although it, once again, doesn’t matter much. Few people opt to challenge young gods – especially extremely high-charisma young gods – however inexperienced, within their own realms.

   On the other hand, Kevin wasn’t interested in being stuck in the form of a dragon in Kadia, so the build will lose something there.

Lord Kevin, Master of Kadia (104 CP):

  • 9 CP: Universal DR 2/-
  • 6 CP: Occult Sense/Darksight
  • 36 CP: Upgraded Dark Magic: allows use of abjuration, evocation, and transmutation spells through level six.
  • 6 CP: Augmented Bonus (Adds Str Mod to Con Mod when computing HP for magically-added Hit Dice).
  • 6 CP: Firm Control on Ridden by the Loa, Specialized in the Half-Celestial and Half-Infernal Templates.
  • 9 CP: Immunity/Vehicle-Scale Weapons (Common / Major / Major, reduces damage by 30 points).
  • 6 CP: Blood of the Dragon ([Cha Mod] spell levels worth of raw magic available per minute).
  • 9 CP: The Dragon’s Bones (6 CP). May maintain (Int Mod+2) levels of spells without effort. +3 CP for +3 levels base (Int Mod +5). Corrupted for 1.5x Effect: personal enhancement spells only.
  • 8 CP: Channeling/Spell Conversion, set of 4xL5 Effects Specialized (Ritual only, Double Effect) and Corrupted (Blatant Black Magic). Dark Lore (any L8 Divination effect), Greater Gate (lasts up to one minute/level), Naming the Darkness (any L8 Conjuration Effect), and The Binding of Wills (any L8 Enchantment/Charm effect).
  • 6 CP: Luck with +4 Bonus uses, Specialized in Skills.
  • 3 CP: Privilege. He can take the form of a Dragon – or of several other kinds of creatures – if he wants to. This is an odd way to buy it, but “Privilege” seems appropriate since it has no game-mechanical effects.

His enhancement spell package is exactly the same:

  • L8 General Attribute Enhancement: +8 to all attributes.
  • L7 Force of Will: +4 Effective Levels (in Eclipse: +4d8 HD, +4 all Saves, +4 BAB, +24 CP (used on Immunity/Antimagic and Dispelling versus personally maintained spells (Uncommon/ Minor/ Epic, 9 CP) and Augmented Bonus (add Cha Mod to Int Mod for spell-sustaining purposes only, 6 CP),
  • L9 Warding Rune/Epic: Provides a +10 Resistance Bonus to Saves.
  • L9 Immortal Vigor IX: Provides +18d6 bonus Hit Dice – although only the 14d6 above the dragonform bonus count. Note that this also boosts the “level of use” for innate powers, such as Channeling and Path of the Dragon. (7 Base + 4 Positive levels + 18 HD = 29)
  • L9 Superheroism: This provides a +6 Morale Bonus to Attacks, Saves, Checks, Damage, Str and Con, renders the subjects Immune to Fear, and provides +60 HP. Two-thirds of these bonuses may be extended to up to 29 friends in the vicinity.
 

Str

Dex

Con

Int

Wis

Chr

Base

22

26

18

20

14

28

Loa

26

28

22

22

18

32

Spells

40

36

36

30

26

40

Gear

44

38

36

30

26

40

Mod

+17

+14

+13

+10

+8

+15

The net effects are a bit weaker, but are also pretty similar:

  • Universal DR is 25/-, 29/- versus physical damage, add +30 versus vehicle-scale weapons (Universal DR 17/- derived form strength per world laws, +4/- from Smartclothes, +4/- from the Dragonform, +4/Energy from a Deflector Module).
  • HP 636: 28 (personal base) +30 (smartclothes) +81 (18d6 magical hit die boost) +22 (hit points from positive level hit dice) +7x[Base Str Mod] (from dragonform augmented bonus) +29xCon Mod (7 personal hit dice, 18 more from his boosting spell, 4 from positive levels) +60 (Morale).
  • Reflex +36, Will +30, Fortitude +35 (all +2 Base, +10 Resistance, +4 Positive Level, +6 Morale). Special Bonus: +3 on saves versus Poison.
  • BCL 29 (from hit dice) for Dark Magics and Channeling
  • Move 40′ Land, 30′ Flight (only when manifesting wings from the Half-Celestial template).
  • AC 38 (10 (Base) + 14 (Dex) + 8 (Wis, per world rules) + 4 (Military Smartclothes) +2 (Natural))
  • Spell Resistance 34 (5 + Hit Dice, 35 Maximum)
  • Resistance to Acid, Cold, and Electricity 10
  • Darksight.
  • On the average, his base skills increase by an average of +8 (averaged attribute increases) +5 (general Int bonus per setting rules) + 6 (Morale) = +19.
  • His physical attacks are at +10 + attribute and other bonuses.
  • Both the Half-Celestial and Half-Infernal Templates provide a variety of innate spells, but are otherwise pretty much identical. In general, Kevin prefers to use the Half-Celestial template. He has plenty of evil and destructive powers already, so the healing and holy stuff is a bonus.